Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from Australia’s year-end tour.
Barnes and Tahu head home.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has confirmed Berrick Barnes and Timana Tahu’s European tour is over after the pair suffered injuries in the win over Italy.
Tahu has a hamstring tear while scans on Monday are expected to confirm Barnes has sustained ligament damage to his left knee. Both are likely to return to Australia on Wednesday.
Flyhalf Matt Giteau believes the side must remain positive despite the set back.
“I mean, it’s obviously strange circumstances and obviously disappointing for both those players,” said Giteau.
“They’ve been training really well and, in particular, Berrick has consistently been playing well. Timana hasn’t had many opportunities, but I thought when he was given his opportunity he was playing well.
“It’s disappointing in that aspect. But, having said that, with injuries always come opportunities. So it means someone else will get an opportunity.”
Giteau vows to improve
Matt Giteau is determined to have his side firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s grudge match against England.
Giteau believes his side made the mistake of underestimating Italy and almost paid the price.
“We created a lot of opportunities but maybe we didn’t show the Italians as much respect as we needed to,” said Giteau.
“At times, we showed some good progress. We made some good dents in them, but then we probably pushed the pass. We’d throw a silly ball, a 50-50 ball trying to get a result. We tried to score without building anything.
“But I think this weekend will be a different game. We won’t disrespect England.”
Despite a solid goalkicking performance the flyhalf admitted he was not at his best after been introduced to the game off the bench earlier than expected.
“I’m always disappointed with certain aspects of my game,” Giteau said. “Obviously I was pretty happy with my goalkicking but, at times, my execution [with ball in hand] was off and it does start with the scrumhalf and flyhalf.
“So obviously we’ll be looking forward to a better performance against England, although I thought ‘Burgo’ [Luke Burgess] went really well for me in particular at the weekend.”
More to follow …