Wallabies, coaches on notice: Ella - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies, coaches on notice: Ella

By David Beniuk 23/11/2009 08:13:55 PM Comments (0)

Grand slam hero Mark Ella says a loss to Wales this weekend will have senior Wallabies and coaching staff under immense pressure, but he is reluctant to yet label the tour a write-off.

Ella, who famously scored a try in every match of Australia's 1984 wins over the four home unions, says he is hopeful coach Robbie Deans' investment in young talent will pay off, even after Sunday morning's (AEDT) painful defeat by Scotland at Murrayfield.

"I don't know that I'd go that far to say it's a write-off," Ella told AAP on Monday.

" ... A lot of people are saying the tour's a write-off now and they may be right but if we don't win against Wales it's going to be hard for a lot of the senior players and possibly some of the coaching staff to hold onto their positions."

Ella doesn't expect that pressure to extend to head coach Deans who he has backed, not least for his composure in a crisis.

"I think Robbie's a good coach but obviously they don't seem to be taking in what he's telling them," Ella said.

"He's been very patient with these guys, he's done wonders to control it. At this point of time I guess any one of us would have been screaming our heads off."

Ella said Wallabies officials would need to review "everything" about the tour, but was adamant it was time to stop chopping and changing positions of players, in particular five-eighth Matt Giteau.

"The whole make-up of the Wallabies squad at the moment and who plays where is so up in the air that it's almost like a lottery," he said.

"It's about time that we actually start to specialise ... (Giteau's) either a five-eighth or an inside centre, he's not both."

Ella said Deans had no choice but to stick with youngsters like centre Quade Cooper, even as they continued to learn on the job.

"I guess he's got no choice, he's got to persevere with these guys," he said.

"There's talk we haven't got a lot of talent and that may be right or not, but you've just got to persevere with these guys and hopefully they pay you back in the end.

"In `84 we probably didn't have as many youngsters ... What Robbie's got is a whole bunch of new players that he's trying to mould into one team where I guess in 84 we had the core, we had a lot of senior players around not so many young guys."

Ella, though, has found the current tour - especially last weekend's 9-8 loss - tough viewing.

"I guess I'm as frustrated as everybody else watching them play, it's agony sitting there watching them," he said.

"I guess you've just got to be objective and think that it will come sooner or later - hopefully before I die."

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