x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Wallabies will not rest on laurels

Australia name an unchanged squad ahead of this weekend's Tri Nations match against New Zealand, while the All Blacks are considering a major shake-up.

Australia named an unchanged squad yesterday ahead of this weekend's Tri Nations match against New Zealand, while the All Blacks are considering a major shake-up. Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and winger Lachie Turner will feature in the Wallabies line-up, having been passed fit after sustaining rib injuries during their gallant win over Tri Nation champions South Africa two weeks ago. "We stepped up to a new level, in terms of our performance, last time and that was pleasing," said the Wallabies coach Robbie Deans. "But we can't live in that moment and rest on our laurels.

"History, both in terms of Australia's overall record in New Zealand, and our recent experience there, shows how difficult this weekend will be. That's not a negative: it's a great opportunity for us." Australia will have to overcome a history of poor performances against the All Blacks to win on Saturday, having emerged the victors in only 45 of their 158 Test match meetings with their New Zealand rivals.

New Zealand are yet to name their team, but after losing 32-29 to the Springboks in Hamilton last weekend - sealing the World Champions' Tri Nations triumph - the team are likely to see their first big overhaul of the tournament as they battle to avoid finishing bottom of the pack. "I don't want to say there's any element of panic but it's the reality that we've got a big Test on the weekend and we've got to pick the right people to go out there and do it," said All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith yesterday.

"We just want to make sure that everyone's earning the jersey, earning the right to be out there and is able to execute more accurately than we've done," he continued. "There's a certain point when you've got to make some tough decisions and that's where we're at." sports@thenational.ae