Wallabies eye Tri-Nations challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies eye Tri-Nations challenge

By David Beniuk 23/08/2008 06:26:07 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies have arrived in Durban with the chance to mount a serious challenge for the Tri-Nations title if they can secure a first win on South African soil in eight years (2300 on Saturday night AEST).

Australia need to win one of their two matches in the Republic and beat the All Blacks in Brisbane next month to win their first series since 2001.

Having trained all week in Cape Town, the Wallabies jetted into Durban late on Friday before their team bus was whisked to the hotel by a police escort of several cars.

With a win over the Springboks already this season, the Australians are confident of breaking their South African hoodoo but they will face a home side smarting over a 19-0 loss to New Zealand at Newlands last week.

Australia will also have to contend with a forecast temperature of 28 degrees in the afternoon match.

The Wallabies have eight South Africa Test debutants in their side, including former league star Timana Tahu who will sit on the bench.

"I'm excited being over here, it's going to be a good test for us this next couple of weeks," Tahu said.

"After last week the Boks are going to be fired up tomorrow so we're expecting them to come out all guns blazing."

Tahu played only three minutes of his Test debut when he came on as a late replacement in the win over the All Blacks last month in Sydney, and is hoping for more game time at ABSA Stadium.

"Robbie hasn't really told me how many minutes I'm going to play but I think it's just a matter of being prepared," he said.

"We trained pretty well this week so you never know, you could be on in the first minute or I could be on with two minutes to go so I think it's just being mentally prepared and getting ready for a big battle."

The Wallabies will wear black armbands to honour the memory of former long-serving Test prop Roy Prosser and 1958 Wallaby tourist Malcolm van Gelder, who both passed away last week.

Meanwhile, under fire Springboks coach Peter de Villiers says he will stick with his side's new, more attacking game-plan despite calls in the South African media for a more structured approach.

"For us to turn back now means we don't trust ourselves," he was quoted as saying by South African rugby website keo.co.za.

"I think players will get to grips with this style and, in the end, this playing style will be something the whole world will fear.

"If South Africa doesn't believe in this style, that's fine, but as long as my team believes we will carry on along that route."

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