Rugby Championship

Altitude factor: Wallabies told to ‘get on with it’

2017-09-26 14:40
Mick Byrne (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Australia's skills coach Mick Byrne expects his players to adapt quickly to the issue of facing South Africa at altitude on Saturday.

READ: Boks boast impressive defensive record against Wallabies

The Wallabies have historically struggled playing in thin air, having beaten the Springboks only once in 54 years on the Highveld.

That win came in 2010 when a late Kurtley Beale penalty saw Australia sneak a 41-39 win in Bloemfontein, the same venue for this Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test.

Every year there is discussion around what effects altitude will have on the Wallabies but Byrne had a simple message to his players: suck it up and get on with the job.

"You can't hide away from the fact that altitude's a different atmosphere but I think the players get used to it pretty quickly and adapt to it pretty quickly," Byrne told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The big one is (that) it's not at the front of your mind. You set your protocols before you come here, you know what you're doing and then when you get here, you just get on with it.

"It's not something you talk about... you just get on with your life."

The last time the Wallabies played the Springboks at altitude was in Pretoria last year, when the home side won 18-10. That result was South Africa’s fourth consecutive home win over Australia.

Saturday's Test is scheduled for 17:05.

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