Wallabies coach wary of Italian ambush - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies coach wary of Italian ambush

By Darren Walton 09/06/2009 08:01:51 PM Comments (0)

The Wallabies are on guard against an Azzurri ambush on Saturday night, with Robbie Deans saying his side won't be falling for any con jobs from Italy's wily coach Nick Mallett.

Although Australia have won all 10 Tests against Italy dating back to 1983, the Wallabies experienced heart flutters before coming from behind to win their last two encounters 25-18 in Rome in 2006 and 30-20 last year in Padova.

Deans says it always pays to expected the unexpected from Mallett, the South African mastermind behind the Springboks' record 17 consecutive Test victories in 1997-98.

"He's always been a lateral thinker. He'll tell us all week that they're going to get flogged etc. But the reality is they will be preparing and scheming and planning to prevail," Deans said on Tuesday.

"And there will be some elements of surprise in that. He's never been a conservative bloke, so he won't be coming to get close. He'll be coming to ideally prevail.

"They got close last year in Padova."

Deans said the likely inclusion of former NRL star Craig Gower in the Italian line-up would only add to the intrigue.

Gower, a former Penrith premiership-winning halfback and NSW State of Origin and Australian Test representative, is tipped to make his international rugby debut at flyhalf, meaning he would oppose Wallabies superstar Matt Giteau.

"They've got a different skill set available to them in Gower," Deans said. "So it will be interesting to see how they apply that.

"He offers them a dimension in terms of distribution, in terms of challenging the defensive line. Just composure at this level.

"How they use him, I don't know. I haven't see him play a lot. I'm looking forward to it.

"Our guys are looking forward to this game. We were under the hammer in Italy last year and were lucky to get out of that and we want to present ourselves really well this week."

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