Polota-Nau won’t be in awe of All Blacks
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Tatafu Polota-Nau admits he’s been guilty in the past of affording his All Blacks opposites too much respect.
The Wallabies hooker has nothing but admiration for all-star New Zealand No.2s Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu, but Polota-Nau says he must forget all that when he takes the field in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.
For Polota-Nau, it’s set to be just his second run-on game against the All Blacks and he’s determined to set the agenda and not be intimidated by reputation.
“Both Andrew and Keven, they’re world-class athletes. You have to respect them but, during the game, you’ve got to make sure you throw that out the window,” said Polota-Nau.
“I think there have been times when you give them too much respect and let them get the better of you.
“But it’s always a case of putting our best foot forward so they have to try and stop us.”
After running-on in all three Tests against Wales in June, Polota-Nau is heavily favoured to earn a start ahead of Brumbies veteran Stephen Moore.
The Waratahs rake said that show of faith from coach Robbie Deans was a major confidence booster as he strives to inspire the Wallabies to their first Bledisloe series win in a decade.
“I’ve said to my teammates I would probably even take a bullet for the guys and that’s the attitude everyone takes in as well which is great,” he said.
“Like any other person, (being in the starting side) is massive but it’s also a privilege because it’s saying you’re the best man for the job.
“So you have nothing to fear other than to put your best foot forward.
“But it’s a different campaign and a lot has happened between June and now so whoever gets selected will be the best for the job.”
In other squad news, five-eighth Quade Cooper came through his club rugby hit-out well on the weekend and Queensland winger Dom Shipperley will join the extended squad this week
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