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Genia will play for Wallabies

Jim Morton 26/08/2011 05:58:46 PM Comments (0)

Shaken attacking general Will Genia has been cleared for Tri Nations duty for a Wallabies outfit vowing to roll out the heavy artillery from kick-off at Suncorp Stadium.

Genia on Friday shrugged off the "foggy" effects of two heavy training collisions to declare he'll be right to handle the relentless harassment of the All Blacks.

New Zealand successfully roughed up the influential halfback at the ruck base in their dominant 30-14 victory in Auckland three weeks ago and will ramp up the tactics again on Saturday night.

Head knocks from towering forwards Radike Samo and Rob Simmons had left Genia, regarded as nigh-on irreplaceable, in doubt for the sold-out series decider.

But he ran sharply at Friday's captain's run at Suncorp Stadium to ease fears that back-up Luke Burgess would be thrust into his first match in two months against the world's No.1-ranked team

Genia is confident he'll be better protected than during the Eden Park reality check when the All Blacks jumped to a 17-0 lead on the back of their superior physicality at the breakdown.

"We've learnt from all the bad moments, especially in that first half in Auckland," Genia said.

"We really learnt our lesson in terms of how to approach the game and how to play against a side that's the benchmark."

The Wallabies lifted their physicality and took a more direct approach a week later to overcome South Africa 14-9 in Durban but it was a second-half comeback that clinched the victory.

Flanker David Pocock said even more improvement at the collision zone was required by the beefed-up Australian pack, especially in the early exchanges.

"It's been a big focus for us as a forward pack to get that go-forward ball and having it pretty clean around the base of the ruck so guys like Will can out and do their thing and give Quade (Cooper) some good ball too," Pocock said.

"In the whole tournament we've seen how important the first 20 minutes are and how physical they've been, so that's going to be the key for us.

"It's very hard to come back against the All Blacks when you are 17-0 down at halftime."

For once there's been no talk about the Wallabies scrum being the weak link but tight-head prop Ben Alexander is wary of a "backlash" by New Zealand's pack.

While Australia's scrum got the better of the Springboks a fortnight ago, the South Africans lowered the colours of the second-string All Blacks last weekend.

Veteran frontrower Tony Woodcock is playing his second Test back from injury and refreshed trio Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks and Brad Thorn returning to a full strength Kiwi tight-five.

Added to what is the last Tri-Nations contest, as Argentina joins the Four Nations in 2012, players like Alexander are under pressure to seal their World Cup starting positions.

Fellow tight-head James Slipper makes his return from injury along with Tatafu Polota-Nau, Berrick Barnes, Rob Horne and Drew Mitchell for the Australian Barbarians on Friday night.

"Definitely it's a massive Test for me, Slips is making his first game back and Salesi (Ma'afu) is also back from injury," Alexander said.

"That result in Durban was good but we haven't done anything yet, we haven't won a trophy."

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