x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Wallabies' new look

Coach Robbie Deans has made eight changes to Australia's starting XV that beat Italy 31-8 in Canberra last Saturday for the match to be played under the roof at Etihad Stadium.

MELBOURNE // Coach Robbie Deans has made eight changes to Australia's starting XV that beat Italy 31-8 in Canberra last Saturday for the match to be played under the roof at Etihad Stadium. But the Wallabies' stand-in captain George Smith is confident their rhythm in today's second Test will not be disrupted by a much-changed line-up. Smith said the preparation while in camp had been thorough and all members of the squad appreciate not only what is at stake, but what is expected of them.

He said the fact that several Wallabies including himself (at No 8), Berrick Barnes (fly-half) and Ben Alexander (tight head prop) were being asked to fill different if not unfamiliar roles is all about doing what is required. "The understanding of how we play is still there and we're training week-in, week-out, so that's the benefit of having teams playing against each other in training," said Smith. "Also the combinations of Berrick and inside centre Quade Cooper are there already, so those combinations don't need tinkering.

"Obviously the back row of myself, Pete Kimlin and Dave Pocock, we just need to make sure that we're connecting well in that area and are aware of our systems as well," Smith added. * PA Sport