Flatley wants Wallabies running - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Flatley wants Wallabies running

By Paul Mulvey 15/11/2002 07:20:59 PM Comments (0)

Elton Flatley has a specific role to play for Wallaby coach Eddie Jones on Saturday, but he also plans on playing for himself.

Selected at inside centre for Australia's crunch rugby Test against England at Twickenham, Flatley will be used as a second playmaker alongside Stephen Larkham to increase the Wallabies' options and keep the English guessing.

When England coach Clive Woodward complained during the week about New Zealand's use of decoy runners last week, Jones took that as an invitation to adopt similar tactics.

So he pushed the hard-running Daniel Herbert out to outside centre and brought in the Queensland five-eighth.

"I won't be crash and bash ... but I'll try to distribute ball to the big backs in space so they can do some damage," Flatley said.

"They want me to be a ball player and add another dimension so it's not just Stephen Larkham.

"One of us either side or both together and change it up and make the English defence think a bit more. They've got a good defensive pattern and we want to break it up a little.

"New Zealand made quite a few line breaks. Woodward could be making excuses for his team or he could be trying to influence the referee.

"Either way, we'll just go about doing our bit, we won't worry too much about what goes on behind the scenes."

Jones has moved Stirling Mortlock from outside centre to the wing where he hopes the powerful runner will exploit England's 20-year-old newcomer James Simpson-Daniel.

On the other wing, giant rugby league convert Wendell Sailor has yet to show any of his damaging running in rugby but with the inside backs instructed to spread the ball, Twickenham could be his chance.

"This is a massive stage for him, he's really determined to do well. So much so he's put a media ban on himself which is very unusual for Wendell," Jones said.

"He really feels he needs to prove himself."

In only his sixth start in 20 Tests, Flatley also wants to prove a point to Jones.

He has come on as a replacement in 14 Tests, mostly at five-eighth where he acknowledges Larkham has a mortgage, but is keen to make a claim on inside centre.

"It's pretty important for me to play well and let Eddie know I'm an option," he said.

"I've spent a lot of time on the bench, it gets a bit frustrating at times, you'd love to be in that starting team a bit more."

He last started a Test against Wales in Cardiff 12 months ago, also at inside centre.

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