Deans may use Cordingley against France - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans may use Cordingley against France

By Darren Walton 22/11/2008 08:14:44 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says he won't hesitate to thrust veteran halfback Sam Cordingley into the fray early in Saturday night's Test against France if Luke Burgess continues to struggle with the flu.

Burgess has been crook all week in Paris, missing one training session altogether, before passing a fitness test on Friday.

"He was blowing a bit and, if he's not right, I'll start with the Sam," Deans said.

Any game time - and he is bound to get more than usual - will be extra sweet for Cordingley, whose first Test start was also against France in Paris back in 2000.

That was also Australia's last win over Les Bleus on French soil.

Cordingley, skipper Stirling Mortlock and flanker George Smith are the only three survivors from that triumphant side.

On his last Wallabies tour before linking with French club Grenoble, the 32-year-old Cordingley was given the honour of handing out the Wallabies jerseys on Thursday, a rare treat indeed for someone actually playing in the match.

The Wallabies have a long day ahead before the 9pm kick-off (7am Sunday AEDT) in Paris, but Mortlock was confident the late start wouldn't affect the team's preparation.

"We're quite used to playing at seven or eight o'clock, so it's only an hour or an hour and a half on top of that. So it's not that different," he said.

"I guess it's different when you're on a tour where the majority of the games have been 2.30 or 3pm.

"But, realistically, where we normally are as a group, it's not too different. We'll be doing a slightly different routine for this game just to get the guys together to make sure we're in the right state of mind.

"But, invariably, that has to be done before game day anyway."

It has been a decade since Australia last beat England and France in successive spring tour Tests and Mortlock said the Wallabies were desperate to back up, especially after losing key Tri Nations games this season the match after posting watershed wins over New Zealand and South Africa.

"In the past, these tours have always been difficult," Mortlock said.

"The opportunity for us in particular this week is to start forming a habit.

"This year we've struggled to back up and everyone in the team is fully aware of that. We spoke about that prior to the tour.

"But that's the uniqueness of the opportunity in front of us, is to start putting down solid efforts consistently.

"This week it's France at the Stade de France, which is a great opportunity, a great challenge.

"It's a unique venue. They're an extremely passionate nation and to play them at home is a tough ask and one that I think everyone is up for, or I hope everyone is up for.

"But it seems like all the signs are right."

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