Rugby Championship

Oz look to rebound against SA

2014-08-27 07:45
Ewen McKenzie (AFP)

Sydney - Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie on Wednesday demanded far more from his team against South Africa as they look to recover from their mauling at the hands of the All Blacks last weekend.

The Australians have been licking their wounds this week after crashing to a record 51-20 defeat to their Tasman neighbours in Auckland on Saturday in the Rugby Championship.

McKenzie admitted it was not good enough.

"We don't hide from the fact that our performance against New Zealand was well below our own expectations, which was especially disappointing considering the momentum we had created since last year's (southern hemisphere) spring tour," he said.

"We'll address that and then get on with preparing for what will be a very tough battle against South Africa."

They will go into the clash against the Springboks in Perth on September 6 without at least two of the players who started in Auckland - Pat McCabe and Nathan Charles.

Outside back McCabe fractured his neck during the Eden Park clash - for the third time since 2012 - which his Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham on Wednesday said had ended his rugby career.

Charles will also be missing with a pectoral tear that has ruled him out for the rest of the season, as he joined fellow hookers Stephen Moore and Tolu Latu on the injured list.

In announcing a 30-man squad, McKenzie called up young Force centre Kyle Godwin for his first taste of Wallaby action while powerful hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is recalled.

Although Polota-Nau is back in the mix, McKenzie said he would not be considered for the match as he continues to recover from an injured knee. Instead, he will be aimed at a return against Argentina on September 13.

"Kyle is someone who has been on the national radar for some time, but unfortunately hasn't had much of an opportunity to join the Wallabies environment due to injury," McKenzie said.

"He now gets his chance to join the squad, and we'll look forward to learning more about him."


Forwards: Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Saia Fainga'a, James Hanson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Michael Hooper (captain), Ben McCalman, Wycliff Palu

Backs: Luke Burgess, Nick Phipps, Nic White, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Matt Toomua, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Betham, Israel Folau, Rob Horne


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