Wallabies arrive in HK for NZ clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies arrive in HK for NZ clash

By Darren Walton 28/10/2008 04:46:05 PM Comments (0)

The Wallabies are preparing for their first training session in Hong Kong ahead of Saturday's historic rugby Test against the All Blacks.

The 34-man Wallabies squad arrived late Monday night for the opening leg of a demanding six-match spring tour, which kicks off this weekend with the first-ever Bledisloe Cup fixture played on neutral territory.

With a 2-1 series lead, New Zealand will retain the trans-Tasman trophy for a sixth straight year regardless of the outcome, but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is expecting nothing less than the usual high-intensity, high-stakes encounter.

"The Bledisloe Cup isn't up for grabs, but it's still a Wallabies-All Blacks Test," Deans said.

"So when you put it in the context of these blokes that have been named - and I'm sure it's no different for the All Blacks when they were named - there's some players who are coming away for the first time and it's another Test match. And a Test match is a Test match."

The All Blacks showdown precedes Tests against Italy, England, France and Wales on successive Saturdays before the Wallabies complete their longest tour in the 13-year history of professional rugby with a mid-week clash with a Barbarians World XV side at Wembley on December 3.

"I know no one has been to the new Wembley Stadium, so that will be an awesome way to finish the tour off," Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock said.

"So there's a lot to look forward to but obviously a massive, massive objective right in front of us in a week's time."

All Blacks coach Graham Henry will name his 22-team man squad on Tuesday, while Deans will announce his on Thursday.

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