Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has Michael Cheika making changes to the Wallaby team, Wallabies shave heads for Lealiifano, backrow balance is just right and All Blacks respect Wallabies.

Cheika Makes Changes

Michael Cheika has made a number of changes for the first Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday night.

Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau, Will Genia and Kane Douglas have returned to the starting team after sitting out the June test series.

Scott Fardy has been replaced by Ben McCalman at blindside flanker whilst Sean McMahon was not considered for selection after breaking his nose.

Team: Scott Sio, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Will Genia, Bernard Foley, Dane Haylett-Petty, Matt Giteau, Tevita Kuridrani, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Allan Ala’alatoa*, Dean Mumm, Scott Fardy, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne

Wallabies Shave Heads

A number of Wallabies have shaved their heads in support of Christian Lealiifano who was recently diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Matt Toomua, David Pocock, Matt Giteau and Will Genia have all shaved their heads this week for Lealiifano.

Will Genia said Lealiifano would be in the thoughts of many players as they run out on Saturday night.

“He’s one of us, one of the boys so he’s always in our thoughts and our prayers,” Genia said.

“He’s a good bloke so the guys will definitely have him in their thoughts when we get out there on Saturday.”

Backrow Balance Right

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says the backrow balance is just right after promoting Ben McCalman and sticking with Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

Cheika is also confident of the Wallabies lineout despite sacrificing some height.

“We’ve been working on a few things there and he’s shown his quality there and we know that New Zealand are the best lineout defenders in the game,’ he said.

“We’re going to have to be on our money tactically in what we do there and each one in his role, Ben included, when the game’s on and the heat of battle, really clear on what their job is inside of our lineout.”

AB’s Respect Wallabies

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has asserted that the All Blacks do respect the Wallabies after Michael Cheika suggested they didn’t rate them.

“If anyone looks at our record, and we’ve been reasonably successful, you don’t be successful if you don’t respect the opposition,” Hansen said.

“So I think they’re kidding themselves if they don’t think we’re respecting them.

“If you look at what they’re saying and that, they’re building their own siege mentality and that’s fine, that’s what they’ve got to do.

“But we certainly respect them, they’re a good side and they’re full of world class players and at home they’re hard to beat.”

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Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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