Aussie wrap (Wed)

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

Alexander plans to keep it simple

Wallaby prop Ben Alexander is focused on getting the basic prop requirements right for Saturday’s clash with France.

Alexander produced some storming runs off the bench against France earlier this year and against Italy on the opening match of the Wallabies’ European tour, but the 24-year-old is not predicting any repeat performances.

“I wasn’t really expecting them last time so I’ll just be worrying about my other jobs first – my scrummaging and combating the French aggression early on. That will be my focus,” said Alexander.

“Running, if it happens, it happens. I’ll just worry about our set piece and laying another platform which we’ve done reasonably well the last two weeks.

“This is my third time against the French so maybe they’re the only team that knows my name.”

Alexander believes his biggest challenge will be filling the shoes of Ben Robinson who produced a solid performance during Australia’s win over England last week.

“I was extremely surprised when I found out they were making any changes at all to the forward pack,” said Alexander. “They deserve every accolade they got last week, the front three, the whole forward pack.

“Hopefully we can put another performance on because that’s put a lot of pressure on me – Robbo [Robinson] coming off such a good game.

“If I don’t perform, then I can kiss any more chances goodbye because he’s put the runs on the board and now it’s my turn to reply.”

Giteau: No need for apology

Flyhalf Matt Giteau was taken back when he heard that England’s rugby chief had issued a formal apology for the crowd’s behavior at Twickenham last weekend.

Giteau claimed he had no idea an apology had been issued, nor did he believe one was necessary.

“It’s pretty common. I think whenever you play at most stadiums, you generally boo the opposition,” said Giteau. “When you’re kicking, you try to zone as many things as you can out. It wasn’t something that I took personally.

“But I suppose it gives you a little bit more satisfaction when you do kick the goals.”

More to follow …