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

McKenzie backing Deans

Former NSW Waratahs mentor Ewan McKenzie believes Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has proven a revelation in his first season in charge.

McKenzie, who now coaches French club outfit Stade Francais says Dean’s introduction of 13 newcomers to the Wallabies squad has been brilliant for Australian rugby.

The former Australian prop singled out winger Peter Hynes, who had in the past been overlooked by the national selectors, as an inspired selection.

“Hynes has been a great investment,” said McKenzie. “Hynes is a bloke I was going to have a crack at getting for the Waratahs.

“I knew exactly why Deans was investing in him because he’s played 10, 12, 13, wing all with aplomb and is in the game all the time.

“He’s just correct and he does all the little things. As soon as he picked him, I thought that’s a good selection because you can rely on him.

“He’s what I call a player who you can budget on. There’s a base performance there.

“He’s going to be closer to the best player than the worst and he’s going to be like that every week.”

Wallabies unsure of French

With France seemingly in a rebuilding phase, Australia have admitted they are not quite sure what to expect from Les Blues this Saturday in Paris.

Since taking over from Bernard Laporte after last year’s World Cup, Marc Lievremont has giving his charges a wide variety of instructions.

He initially ordered his players to attack at any given opportunity and then requested they play with more structure and now he seems to be trying to strike a balance between both styles.

French journalists claim the players are completely confused and it seems Lievremont even has the Wallabies baffled.

“It’s always difficult to prepare for them because they can play that tight game with the forwards, but they’ve also got that flair with the backs,” said Wallabies flyhlaf Matt Giteau.

“So, I mean, they’re always very unpredictable. It’s just, I think at home generally that stuff comes off for them, so we’ve just got to be wary of them.”

The Wallabies recorded an emphatic 2-0 series win over France in Australia early this year, but Giteau said his side are expecting a much tougher encounter this time around.

“It was a different side and they were at a different stage of the year,” said Giteau.

“Now they’re a lot fresher. Last time it was the end of a long season for them. I think a lot of them were mentally and physically tired.

“So it’s going to be a much tougher game.”

More to follow …