Jones not taking Irish Test lightly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jones not taking Irish Test lightly

By Melissa Woods 05/06/2003 06:56:48 PM Comments (0)

With only six players remaining from the Australian rugby side that lost to Ireland last November, the Wallabies aren't carrying any baggage into Saturday's Test in Perth.

Nor are they carrying the heavy weight of expectation with the Wallabies side likely to again be vastly different come the World Cup in October.

But that doesn't mean victory isn't important.

National coach Eddie Jones said while the World Cup was the main prize, his side needed to play well at Subiaco Oval to keep on track as they worked toward that goal.

"We're approaching it very much as a game in itself, we'd like to do well, we'd like to start the season off well," Jones said.

Prop Patricio Noriega, lock David Giffin, flanker George Smith, No.8 Toutai Kefu, skipper George Gregan and winger Wendell Sailor are the only players backing up from the Lansdowne Road match, when Australia was beaten 19-8 in its first loss to Ireland since 1979.

Both sides have made injury-enforced changes but the game will still provide a test of their strengths, particularly relevant with the countries in the same World Cup pool.

"Everyone talks about the World Cup and certainly our goal is to do well in the World Cup but we've got seven Test matches that are important Test matches in themselves," Jones said.

"Everything you do in those Test matches counts towards the World Cup but everything you do also counts towards that particular game."

Ireland was seeking confirmation from the International Rugby Board today before naming its reserve list, concerned about a law amendment made at an IRB special council meeting in April.

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