Wallabies bring in muscle to avenge Pretoria defeat
Thursday 02 September 2010
The Australia coach, Robbie Deans, has beefed up his pack in an effort to match the physicality of South Africa's set-piece in Saturday's Tri-Nations test in Bloemfontein following the 44-31 defeat in Pretoria last weekend.
Hooker Stephen Moore and No 8 Ben McCalman have been promoted from the bench while lock Mark Chisholm has earned a recall having not featured for the Wallabies since earning his 51st cap against Ireland in June. Lock Dean Mumm, hooker Saia Faingaa and No 8 Richard Brown drop to the bench while loose forward Scott Higginbotham falls out of the match 22 completely.
"The changes are less about shortcomings and more about considering the order in which we will use our blokes," Deans said. "McCalman has done really well off the bench and he will bring a real physical presence. Mark Chisholm has a big frame and we want him to use it at the set-piece. We believe that we will be better for the added weight in the scrums."
McCalman will be making his full debut after two substitute appearances while the match will be a special occasion for Moore and wing Drew Mitchell with both men set to reach the 50-test mark on Saturday.
Mitchell said that despite reaching the milestone he was more focused on his team's performance. "It's a tremendous honour to reach 50 caps but at the moment there is a bigger picture," he said. "It is a very important time for the team. Being as close as we were on the weekend and not being able to come away with a win is pretty disappointing and everyone just wants to get on with the job. When we don't stick to our systems we leak points and we let teams back into the game."
Australia have won only twice in South Africa at altitude, the last time was at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1963, and Mitchell said that, although the team was aware of their record on the highveld, there was a belief they could beat South Africa.
"The boys have a collective belief that we are capable of doing it. We beat South Africa in Brisbane this year and, although it is different playing them in South Africa, we feel that based on our previous performances against them we have shown that we are capable [of winning]."
Bath fly-half Butch James is an absentee from the South Africa bench. The 40-cap Springbok was one of three players with injuries after the Pretoria game.
Jannie du Plessis and Flip van der Merwe were also carrying knocks, although James was reportedly the biggest concern for the world champions.
Prop Du Plessis has been named in the XV by coach Peter de Villiers, while lock Van der Merwe has to make do with a place on the bench, with veteran Danie Rossouw given preference. It is the only change to the starting line-up, while James's place among the replacements goes to Gio Aplon.
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