Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / Australia / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
Wales v Australia
Wallabies preparing as if for World Cup final
November 26, 2013

Australia must approach their final Test of the year, against Six Nations champions Wales, as they would a Rugby World Cup final, Ewen McKenzie says after drawing parallels with what they can expect in two years' time. The James Bevan Trophy Test is Australia's 15th match of a long and turbulent year, and their fifth in as many weeks in Europe, but McKenzie refuses to allow the use fatigue of as excuse for his weary players.

"You are getting towards what you need to do to play a World Cup over here, play five hard Tests in a row," McKenzie said, noting that Australia will confront the home side and Wales in their final two matches in the "pool of death" at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England before hopefully playing a quarter-final, semi-final and final on successive weekends at Twickenham.

"Five weeks in a row at a big venue, big games, knockout; the way it lines up for me if you were playing a final, this would be it."

For those very reasons, McKenzie is pushing for another extended five-week end-of-year tour of Europe in 2014, when his team is likely to play England, Wales, France, Ireland and possibly one other Test team or a Barbarians side as well as midweek matches.

McKenzie, meanwhile, will not rest leading players against a Wales side desperate to end their eight-match losing streak to the Wallabies, despite many of his stars having played 30-plus games this year.

"You have to front up so it's not a time to be talking about rest and recovery," he said. "As I said to the guys, you want to breast the line; you don't want to wind down. You need to go hard, and that's where this five-week campaign is at. The World Cup is even longer [at seven weeks] so it's even more of a mental challenge."

Australia haven't won four Tests in row on an end-of-year tour since 1996, while victory over Wales will see the trip branded a success and give McKenzie a break-even 6-6 record after replacing Robbie Deans and losing his first three Tests in charge.

Victory will also deliver another psychological advantage heading towards the Rugby World Cup 2015, especially with Wales having not defeated Australia since 2008.

Wales will be without British & Irish Lions stars Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Adam Jones, but they hope Alex Cuthbert will return from injury to join fellow starting Lions George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Mike Phillips, Sam Warburton, Alun-Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Richard Hibbard and Toby Faletau in the side.

The Wallabies, meanwhile, are set to reunite the midfield combination that played in the 2-1 series loss, with Adam Ashley-Cooper to return from suspension at outside centre alongside goal kicker Christian Leali'ifano.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - European Championship
    Golf - McGladrey Classic
    Golf - Perth International
    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA Finals
  • Football

    Walcott ready for comeback, says Wenger

    Arsene Wenger is planning to reintroduce winger Theo Walcott to his first team in the coming days as the Arsenal forward closes in on a return from a long-term knee injury

  • Golf

    Compton leads at Sea Island

    Erik Compton is happy with where he is in golf, and he's not referring to his five-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the McGladrey Classic

  • Football

    Chelsea can be next 'Invincibles' - Vieira

    Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira believes Chelsea can emulate the fabled "Invincibles" and win the title this season without losing a match

  • Rugby

    Launchbury commits future to Wasps

    Wasps have been handed a massive boost with England second-row Joe Launchbury committing his future to the club

  • Formula 1

    Engavest's 'total contempt' as Caterham row goes sour

    The war of words between Tony Fernandes and the investment company that tried to buy the team continues as the chances of the team making the US Grand Prix next week look increasingly slim

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!