Keo.co.za brings you daily updates from the Wallabies’ quest to conquer Europe.
Deans backs All Blacks beaters – Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has made no changes to the side that edged the All Blacks in Hong Kong last week.
Wallabies – 15 Kurtley Beale; 14 James O’Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Drew Mitchell; 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia; 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 James Slipper,18 Dean Mumm, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Lachie Turner.
Wales cut Williams - Sam Warburton is preferred to Martyn Williams at openside flank in a youthful Wales team to face Australia.
Only three of the match 22 for the Cardiff Test are over 30 years old, situation created by a string of injuries to senior players. Matthew Rees captains Wales for the first time.
Wales - 15 James Hook, 14 Will Harries, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Gethin Jenkins,
Subs: Huw Bennett, Paul James, Deiniol Jones, Martyn Williams, Richie Rees, Dan Biggar
Gatland hails Pocock - Warren Gatland says David Pocock is a finer fetcher than Richie McCaw.
Such is the Wales coach’s estimation of Pocock, that he has warned a failure to nullify him would be decisive to the outcome of the Test in Cardiff. ‘We have to make sure we do a job on him, because at the moment there’s nobody in the world better than Pocock at winning turnovers at the breakdown,’ Gatland said.
Gits felt like a liability - Matt Giteau feared his poor goalkicking would undermine the Wallabies’ chances of victory.
James O’Connor has been installed as the new punter, with Giteau struggling for consistency all season. ”I still want to stick with it [kicking], because there are times where I hit the ball quite well, but it is inconsistent at the moment,” he said. ”And it’s not the right time to trial it in Test matches, especially when I feel we are making as much progress as we are. It shouldn’t be held back by goal kicking.
‘I will still be practising as hard as I have been when preparing for a match, so if something happens and I’m required to kick, I’m still able to kick. But at the moment I want to get to a position where I am fully confident. If I’m really happy with how I’m hitting the ball, then I’ll put my hand up.’
Cooper has Wales worried - Wales flyhalf Stephen Jones said they will mark Quade Cooper tightly.
‘His footwork is so good he very rarely gets wrapped up in the tackle and, because of that, he off-loads a lot,’ Jones said. ‘You very rarely see him die with the ball or go fully into contact with it. He just sees things very early.
‘At the back, we’ve got to make sure we mark as much space as we can. We can’t give this guy big chunks of field to aim at because he will make us pay.’