Aussie wrap (Fri) brings you the latest news from Australia’s year-end tour.

Deans backs Tahu to shine

Wallabies mentor Robbie Deans is backing Timana Tahu to redeem himself in his return to the starting line up against Italy on Saturday.

The former rugby league player came was heavily criticised after a woeful defensive display in the Wallabies’ 53-8 defeat to the Springboks in the Tri-Nations in August. However, addressing his defensive frailties in training, Tahu will be looking to front come Saturday.

“Timana has done a lot of work in analysis. He’s done a lot of work in training and he’s just better for that,” said Deans.

“It happens in training first. You can’t just turn it on the weekend if you haven’t developed the capabilities you need through the week and he’s been working hard at that.

“If he just brings that with him and backs himself and doesn’t second guess, he’ll be fine. In fact, he’ll be better than fine because he’s already shown what a capable player he is.”

Tahu and partner Stirling Mortlock will in all likelihood interchange throughout the Test and flyhalf Berrick Barnes is looking forward to feeding the powerful midfield pairing.

“We’ve got two of the best ball runners in the world in Mortlock and Timana,” said Barnes.

“It would be great to see Timana get a bit of ball instead of being on the back foot 24/7 like the last few games he’s played. So it’s probably my job to get it to him.”

Waugh stresses adaptation

Veteran flanker Phil Waugh is hoping Australia will adapt to Bryce Lawrence’s refereeing style.

This after the controversy surrounding referee Alan Lewis’s handling of last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup clash.

The Wallabies threatened to lodge a complaint to the IRB over Lewis’s performance in Hong Kong, but Waugh has urged his team-mates to the accept Lawrence’s interpretation of the ELVs.

“It’s about adjusting and reacting to how the referee is refereeing on the day,” said Waugh. “That’s probably the biggest thing. Referees referee differently and on one particular day a referee might referee differently to another day.

“It’s about adjusting and adapting to how they’re refereeing on the particular day and I think the sooner you do that, the more effective you become. I don’t think words are the most effective way on the field. It’s a matter of what’s going on and actions more so.”

More to follow …