Keo.co.za brings you news from Australia’s camp.
Deans keeps faith in Bok slayers - Australia coach Robbie Deans has made no changes to the starting side that beat the Springboks a fortnight ago.
The only movement comes on the wood, where scrumhalf Luke Burgess, wing Lachie turner and lock Dan Vickerman come into the side for the Test against New Zealand in Auckland.
Deans said the changes represented a horses for courses approach.
‘Burgess and Turner have both worked their way back into contention and have shown that they are now ready to go, while Vickerman really stepped up in training last week, and reinforced that for Sydney Uni on the weekend. This is a contest we believe he is well suited to,’ Deans said.
‘For the South Africans, it’s physicality first, second and third. The All Blacks employ more width and rely on speed of recycle and movement. They play the game wider and faster, which is why the extra speed and additional backline resources are required on the bench.’
Australia - 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. James O’Connor, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. David Pocock, 6. Rocky Elsom (Capt), 5. James Horwill, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Sekope Kepu.
Subs: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Pekahou Cowan, 18. Dan Vickerman, 19. Scott Higginbotham, 20. Luke Burgess, 21. Anthony Faingaa, 22. Lachie Turner
Wallabies braced for scrum assault - Australia hooker Stephen Moore says their intense focus on scrummaging this week is aimed at nullifying the All Blacks’ strength in this facet of play.
The Wallabies’ pack have engaged in marathon scrummaging sessions in their training camp on the Gold Coast for the past fortnight, hoping to prime their shove for what will be the measure of them in this regard.
‘Our scrum has progressed pretty well this year,’ Moore said. ‘We’ve had a good start, but this is a significant step up for us this weekend. The All Blacks created a lot of pressure on the Springboks’ ball last weekend, and that will again be an area where they will try to assert their dominance.
‘We know it is a massive area for us to focus on, and we have. That’s why we’ve done a lot of scrummaging the last ten days. There’s been a lot of live scrummaging, with a high volume of work.
‘The All Blacks pack are technically minded. They are always trying to get their technique right, and there’s not too much sledging going on out there. It’s all about who can win that race to get the shoulders in position, win that engagement, chase the hit and stuff like that.’
Sharpe will join Wallabies on SA tour – Coach Robbie Deans says veteran lock Nathan Sharpe will receive another chance to prove his worth when the Wallabies front the Springboks in Durban.
Sharpe was omitted from Australia’s 24-man squad for this week’s Test against the All Blacks, but Deans says the 33-year-old is still in the World Cup reckoning. Sharpe will play for Queensland University this Saturday before sitting on the bench for the Test in Durban.
‘He’s getting 80 minutes of rugby this weekend which is important to him and us and then he’s already got a ticket with a bag packed to Africa – he’s in the squad,’ Deans said.