Aussie wrap (Thurs)

Keo.co.za brings you all the news from Australia’s year-end tour.

Baxter not bothered by jabs

Australian prop Al Baxter is brushing off the constant taunts at the hands of the English media.

The weakness of the Wallabies’ scrum is not news, but Baxter has come in for some scathing criticism throughout the build-up to the Test against England at Twickenham. Baxter is, however, taking a positive spin on it, believing it shows just how much the English love the set piece.

“Even with the barrage I’m getting, it’s actually quite nice to come to a country where scrummaging is talked about,” said Baxter. “There’s no way through the year that the scrums would have taken this focus. You come to England and you know you’re going to talk about the set piece – and that’s good.”

The Australian tighthead denied that the comments would affect his confidence.

“You don’t have to agree with what people are writing, but they are entitled to voice what they think. All you have to do is roll with it and try to do your talking on the field, rather than through the press,” he said.

“It really doesn’t worry me that much. I’ve been in professional rugby coming up to 10 years, and whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff, you have to handle it. If you believe it all, you get yourself in a lot of trouble.

“Most importantly, it hasn’t affected in any way how I am preparing for this Test.”

More to follow…