Australia slumped to their 10th defeat in 13 Tests with a 9-6 loss to Wales over the weekend
Wallabies can't afford to make big changes for Italy, says Matt Toomua
Australia coach Michael Cheika may hope to try out new players and give others a rest against Italy on Saturday but the Wallabies can ill-afford sweeping changes as they battle to return to winning form, utility back Matt Toomua has said.
The Wallabies slumped to their 10th defeat in 13 Tests with a 9-6 loss to Wales over the weekend, sparking a fierce reaction in Australia where rugby pundits called for Cheika's sacking a year out from the World Cup in Japan.
While there are fresh legs in the squad, including uncapped 18-year-old fullback Jordan Petaia, Australia should aim to field a strong side against the Italians in Padova, said Toomua.
"I think we've got to win, don't we?" Toomua told reporters.
"We've got to give respect to Italy as a team who we know can upset a lot of teams. We struggled against them a few years ago back in Australia.
"So I think going out with wholesale changes wouldn't be the smartest tactic."
Australia have never lost to Italy in 17 matches but suffered a huge scare in their last meeting in Brisbane last year before overhauling the Azzurri 40-27.
Toomua said he expected some changes to the Wallabies side that Wales coach Warren Gatland described as surprisingly easy to defend against.
"We've lost a few on the trot now and ... there might be some selections that are enforced because of form rather than just giving guys a go," added Toomua.
"It will be imperative that we win the game and we win well, to get some momentum going into England.
"Cheika might have a bigger picture view in terms of a few guys here and there but I think after, particularly what happened on the weekend, we've got to get a win."
After Italy, the Wallabies finish their 2018 season against Eddie Jones's England at Twickenham next week.