Attack or perish, Deans tells Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Attack or perish, Deans tells Wallabies

By Justin Chadwick 16/07/2008 07:46:26 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has urged his players not to shy away from their expansive game plan as they prepare for a physical barrage in Saturday night's Tri-Nations Test against South Africa in Perth.

Deans has named a creative line-up for the clash against the world champions, making four changes to the run-on side that routed under-strength France 40-10 in Brisbane a fortnight ago.

Lock Nathan Sharpe (groin), winger Lote Tuqiri (knee) and No. 8 Wycliff Palu (neck) all return from injury to take their place in the starting XV while George Smith has been given the nod ahead of Phil Waugh at openside flanker.

The Wallabies will be having their first outing under the Experimental Law Variations in force for the Tri-Nations series while South Africa have already shown a keen awareness of their attacking advantages in their opening two Tests against New Zealand.

They combined their traditional forward might with a dash of brilliance out wide in their upset 30-28 second Test win over New Zealand in Dunedin last week.

"Believe me, the physicality is still there," Deans said.

"You only had to look at the two Tests between the All Blacks and the Springboks to recognise the physicality didn't diminish at all, but they were a little bit more prepared to use the width of the ground and, to be frank, that makes them harder because you can't presume.

"It makes them a more challenging opponent to defend against.

"We are going to have to play.

"We won't be able to be conservative against a side that has the physical capabilities of the South Africans and get home.

"The key will be to keep them busy with the traffic coming the other way."

Tuqiri is confident the Wallabies will be able to breach South Africa's defence - but only if they take the game on.

"If we can stick to our game plan and our structures we are trying to put in place hopefully it will open up out wide," Tuqiri said.

"It's up to us to think on our feet."

While there was no room in the side yet for in-form rugby league convert Timana Tahu, the bolter on the bench is Tatafu Polota-Nau, who won a spot after making his playing return from injury at club level last weekend for Parramatta.

Dashing fullback Drew Mitchell has been named on the bench as Adam Ashley-Cooper held the fullback spot. Prop Matt Dunning returns via the bench after missing Australia's Test wins over France with an infected shin.

Lock James Horwill, who copped a knock to the sternum at training on Tuesday, was named in the starting XV alongside Nathan Sharpe but fellow second-rower Dan Vickerman will play club rugby again this weekend as he continues his comeback from ankle surgery.

Smith will register his 87th Test cap when he lines up against the Springboks, making him the most capped Australian forward and the fourth most capped Wallaby of all-time.

"It is a nice feeling to achieve that," Smith said.

Smith said the intense rivalry with Waugh for a starting berth throughout their careers had helped both players improve.

"The standard of football we push each other to helps us develop our game and to be the players that we are," Smith said.

"Without that rivalry, competitiveness and friendship we might not have become as accomplished as we have."

Australia: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Hynes, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Berrick Barnes, Lote Tuqiri, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill, Al Baxter, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Dunning, Hugh McMeniman, Phil Waugh, Sam Cordingley, Ryan Cross, Drew Mitchell.

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