Turin - Forward Rob Simmons has returned from injury to give under-pressure
Australia some much-needed power in the scrum ahead of the Wallabies'
second November test against a hungry Italy side on Saturday.
who missed last week's 20-13 defeat to England after suffering an
injury in training prior to the opening test of five in November, is
regarded as one of Australia's best locks.
But having played
blindside flanker at the 2011 World Cup, coach Ewen McKenzie is hoping
the big forward can give the tourists something extra against an Italian
team which can sniff a first, famous victory over the Australians.
of the Italians' strength is derived through their forwards and that's
where they will look to take us on, especially at set-piece. We have to
take them on up front," McKenzie said.
"Having Simmo return will
benefit us in that regard. He's instrumental in us winning our own ball
while we'll be looking for him to put pressure on their lineout, and
"Aside from that, he is one of our most athletic and
powerful forwards. He has trained very well at blindside flanker and it
will be interesting to see how he goes with a bit more space."
is the only change from last week's reverse and replaces Scott Fardy,
who is unavailable for selection after suffering concussion at
Australia were leading England 13-6 at half-time last
week but allowed the tourists back into the game to get their
end-of-season tour off to a negative start.
Going on results
alone, it is the Wallabies worst period since the game went professional
in 1996 and defeat to Italy, renowned for their strong scrum and who
beat both Ireland and France in the 2013 Six Nations, would heap the
pressure on further.
Simmons said Australia have their work laid out in front of them.
we need to apply a lot of pressure at the breakdown and try and slow
their ball down," he said. "In attack, we need to make the advantage
line and get our backs into the game.
"The forwards have to work
hard. It's a big day for us forwards. If we can nullify their forwards,
it will go a good way to winning the game.
passionate, and emotional. You can see when they're singing the national
anthem... it's a bit the same. Their forwards get a good roll-on and
they're hard to stop.
"So we have to try to get into them early and stop them."
Italy coach Jacques Brunel will name his starting team later on Thursday.
McKenzie added: "There is pressure every week but at the moment we are in the business of winning the next game.
never had an easy game here in Italy and even last year they had a
chance to tie the game after the final siren. There wouldn't be anyone
in the Six Nations who would say coming here and winning is easy.
"They grow an extra leg playing at home and we recognise that going into the match."Teams:
15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt
Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen (captain),
7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Simmons, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sitaleki Timani,
3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Substitutes : 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis,
20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Christian Leali'lifano, 23 Joe Tomane.