Deans basing Wallabies at sea-level - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans basing Wallabies at sea-level

By Adrian Warren 12/08/2008 06:08:35 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is hoping basing Australia at sea level will help them break their long drought in South Africa and bring a repetition of the success he has enjoyed in that country with his previous employers.

Australia head to South Africa on Friday for two Tri-Nations Tests in South Africa, having lost each of their last eight Tests in that country.

The Wallabies haven't won in South Africa since a 19-18 victory in Durban eight years ago.

Conversely, Deans had an 11-8 win-loss record in South Africa during his Super tenure with the Canterbury Crusaders.

New Zealand also enjoyed success at Test level in South Africa during his time there as the All Blacks coaching coordinator between 2001 and 2003.

Australia will only arrive in Durban and Johannesburg a day before the respective Tests.

They will spend most of next week in Cape Town before heading to Durban and will then spend a week there before going to Johannesburg.

The strategy is along the same lines as the one employed by Deans during his hugely successful stint at the Crusaders.

The tactic was especially successful this year, when the Crusaders won both their South African fixtures.

Meanwhile, the contrasting fitness fortunes of two South African-born second rowers could possibly advantage Australia in the coming Tests.

South African lock Bakkies Botha has been ruled out of the remainder of the Tri-Nations competition after suffering a posterior cruciate ligament knee injury.

Conversely, Australia's South African-born second row linchpin Daniel Vickerman is poised to regain a starting spot in the Wallabies lineup.

Vickerman came off the bench in Australia's last Test loss to New Zealand, but seems certain to start on Saturday week after the Wallabies shambolic lineout performance against the All Blacks in Auckland, where they lost eight of their own throws.

While South Africa have lost Botha and centre Jaque Fourie with a fractured cheekbone, they have regained the services of two of their major strike weapons.

Winger Bryan Habana and flanker Schalk Burger were both recalled to the side for this weekend's clash with New Zealand in Cape Town, after being rested from last week's rout of Argentina after picking up niggling injuries against Australia in Perth last month.

The Wallabies coaching staff and at least some of the players are expected to attend Saturday's match at Newlands.

The 30-man Wallabies squad reassembles in Sydney on Wednesday, with a revised party of 28 to be named on Thursday.

Team medical officials will decide whether flanker Rocky Elsom (foot) and fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper (hand) are fit to tour and play in at least one of the South African Tests.

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