Rugby Championship

McKenzie set to change four

2013-09-25 20:00
Ewen McKenzie (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is expected to make four changes his side to play the Springboks in their Rugby Championship encounter in Cape Town.

Sydney Morning Herald's website reports that the Wallabies may have learnt a lesson or two from their humiliating defeat to the Boks in Brisbane a few weeks ago.

As is normally the case with opposition teams to the Springboks, a lot has been made of the physical onslaught to be expected, brought to light once more, this time by hooker, Stephen Moore.

Moore said that when he hears the Bok camp talking about "playing" the opposition, he thinks nothing more than them only wanting to physically outmuscle the opposition until they fall foul and provide scoring opportunites for their reliable sharp shooter, Morné Steyn.

Meanwhile, McKenzie is believed to have made his changes based on this and is expected to welcome back captain James Horwill to the second row, while handing Brumbies centre,  Tevita Kuridrani a start at outside centre, moving Adam Ashley-Cooper to the wing and starting Joe Tomane on the other flank to cover for the suspended James O'Connor.

McKenzie is also expected to persist with Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White, leaving Will Genia on the bench.

Moore emphasised that the physical aspect of the game is at the forefront of their minds and will mentally gear themselves to not be intimated by the Green and Gold machine.

"They play a very direct game plan, their forwards run straight and hard, they tackle hard, they have a presence on the ball and they maul," Moore was quoted as saying.

"There are no secrets to the way they play.

"In terms of how you prepare for that, we don't spend too long talking about the tactical side of it, it's all the mental and physical side of things and that's going to be key this week."

Timani once said that if he saw Wycliff Palu make a big hit he would be right for the night, fired up by his No.8's aggression and keen to follow suit.

All eyes will once again fall onto the Wallabies scrum, with Moore saying that they have found it especially difficult to adapt to the new scrum engagement sequence.

"I have had sleepless nights over it, I've been stewing over it, particularly when you have two weeks between games," he said.

"It's very frustrating, everyone in the team, coaches included, want it to be right, and it's up to us on the weekend to make sure it is right.

"Every time we have won over here our set piece has done well, that's a good starting point.

"I suppose I am a bit biased being a front rower, and I take that very personally, that side of the game."


South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

Possible Australia line-up:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.

Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Chris Feauai-Sautia


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