NEWS ARTICLES
Wallabies name their strongest line-up
Brenden Nel
supersport.com
October 07, 2011
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans will go into Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in an extremely confident mood after naming his strongest available side to face the Springboks in Wellington.

Deans has seen the injury worries disappear as he welcomed back dangerous backline players Kurtley Beale, Digby Ioane and Pat McCabe into the starting line-up as part of a number of changes to the team that beat Russia 68-22 in Nelson a week ago.

Beale returns to the fullback position in the place of injured Drew Mitchell, who has since returned home, while James O’Connor is back on the right wing. Interestingly the hard-running McCabe comes into the midfield for Berrick Barnes, the latter who will come off the bench later in the game.

The decision to include McCabe, who prior to his injury earlier in the tournament, held the Wallaby jersey for seven consecutive tests shows that Deans wants some hard direct running, most probably at Morne Steyn’s channel.

Deans let slip that the idea with Barnes was to come off the bench late in the game should he be needed for a drop-goal or two to turn the match in the Aussies' favour.

Ioane moves into his favoured wing spot, where Radike Samo, who moonlighted on the wing against Russia, goes back to his more prominent No 8 role.

Samo’s return to the back of the scrum is one of five changes to their pack, as flanker Rocky Elsom, lock Dan Vickerman, tighthead prop Ben Alexander and loosehead prop Sekope Kepu all return to the side.

While Vickerman has been drafted in to help with the lineout calls, there must have been a strong case for Force captain Nathan Sharpe, who, as you may remember, gave Victor Matfield a torrid time in the Durban Tri-Nations test earlier this year.

FORMIDABLE OPPOSITION

“We’ve gone with the players and the combinations which have served us best through the year to date,” Deans explained about his selection.

“Obviously injury and managing individual work-loads has been a factor in selection through this tournament so far, but fortunately a lot of the injury problems that we’ve had are now behind us. The players that are coming back into the team after breaks are good to go.”

While the Wallabies do have a significant advantage over the Springboks over the past two years, Deans has played down their favourites tag, saying the Boks will be formidable opposition.

"All that matters is Sunday," the former All Black said. "The winner goes on, the loser goes home.

"Taking comfort from previous games is the quickest path way to the airport!

“The knockout phases of the World Cup are completely different to every other type of rugby we play: the stakes are higher, the intensity greater and the margins between success and failure smaller. We’ve seen that to some extent already in the tournament through the key pool matches and you can pretty much guarantee that it will all only intensify from here.”

Indeed, history has shown that the points differentials across games drops from 30 to 14 as teams move from Pool play to quarterfinals, and this weekend it is likely to be much closer.

“South Africa still have the core group from the last World Cup together. They know what it takes to be successful in knockout rugby and know how to close out the tight games,” Deans added.

“They’ve already shown that in this tournament when they came from behind to beat Wales by a point. They have a group which has the knowledge and belief that it can get things done. They will bring that mentality forward with them on Sunday. If we are going to earn the right to advance to the next round, we have to match it.”

AUSTRALIA TEAM:

Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Radike Samo, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, James Horwill (capt), Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu.

Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Nathan Sharpe, Ben McCalman, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Anthony Fainga'a.

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
Absa Under 19 Competition
Friday, September 05 2014
17:00 - EP Kings U19 vs Sharks U19
NMMU Stadium, PE
Absa Under 21 Competition
18:00 - Border U21 vs Sharks U21
BCM Stadium, East London
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
19:10 - DHL Western Province vs EP Kings
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, September 06 2014
09:35 - New Zealand vs Argentina
McLean Park, Napier
Absa Under 19 Competition
11:00 - Free State U19 vs Leopards U19
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
11:45 - Griffons U19 vs Boland U19
North West Stadium, Welkom
12:00 - Valke U19 vs SWD U19
Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
Patersons Stadium, Perth
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Regional Play-Offs
12:45 - Leopards 2 (Vaal Reefs) vs Valke 2 (Brakpan)
Olen Park, Potchefstroom
Absa Under 21 Competition
13:00 - Free State U21 vs Leopards U21
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Copyright 2011 - SARU. All Rights Reserved.