Wallabies aim to be too good by half - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies aim to be too good by half

By Glenn Cullen 13/07/2004 08:18:37 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has indicated Saturday's opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand may indeed be a match of two halves, specifically Chris Whitaker and Matt Henjak.

Jones has had a few selection quandaries with his 22-man squad to play in Wellington but suggested the physical contest may necessitate having another halfback on the bench.

It was initially thought that Jones may reshuffle his backs should Whitaker - who came in for injured captain George Gregan at No.9 - need to be replaced during the match.

"If (Matt Giteau) plays at inside centre then it obviously gives us a couple of good options but then we make decision whether we leave ourselves short (at half) or whether we go with a more traditional route and have a halfback on the bench," Jones said.

"We have to look at the conditions of the game but we anticipate it might be the kind of game where the halfback becomes more important.

"It's a difficult decision."

With All Blacks half Justin Marshall back to his peerless best and the intimidating Richie McCaw named as openside flanker for the New Zealanders, Jones is clearly expecting some heat on his scrumbase combination.

The fullback role is likely to go to Chris Latham, though that depends on how much faith Jones has in Giteau as a goal kicker.

A radar boot with his Canberra Vikings club side, Giteau has had no international experience and has kicked only a handful of goals for the Brumbies in the Super 12.

Veteran Matt Burke, a kicker of great experience, is Jones' other option at the back after Joe Roff was effectively ruled out for the season with a knee injury sustained against the Pacific Islanders.

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