Wallabies not worried about new Kiwi No.10
The Wallabies are putting the blinkers on about who will wear the vacant All Blacks No.10 jersey, saying they are only focused on improving their own game.
Injury-hit New Zealand will field their fourth-string five-eighth in Saturday’s Wellington Test, where they can wrap up the Bledisloe Cup after a convincing game one victory.
Chiefs playmaker Colin Slade is likely to get the nod following the injury-enforced absence of Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett.
Wallabies inside centre Christian Lealiifano believed the All Blacks wouldn’t have any problems adapting to Slade or Crusaders rookie Tom Taylor.
“Anyone they’ve produced so far has done a fantastic job so I’m sure the next replacement will be equally as good.
“I think they’re talking Colin Slade, guys who have been around the mix before so they will find combinations pretty quick because they’ve got a lot of experience there.”
For that reason he said his team was more concerned about improving on their 47-29 loss in the opening Test in Sydney.
The Wallabies felt confident that after spending only one week working on combinations under new coach Ewen McKenzie that would happen.
“We’ve got to try not to worry too much about their changes, we’ve got to look back at our game and try to improve and minimise our mistakes,” Lealiifano said.
“We need to be a bit more clinical about what we do.
“We scored 29 points but we left a bit out there as well.”
The Australians are vowing to cut down crucial errors which cruelled winger Israel Folau’s involvement.
The exciting back was invisible in the first half, managing just four runs for 35 metres for the game.
Lealiifano said turnovers – through errors as well as pressure from the All Blacks defence – meant the Wallabies weren’t able to build pressure and fully execute their attacking game plan.
“He’s a key player in our side that we look to try to get the ball to and unfortunately we didn’t do that.
“We’re going to try and play a bit more expansive style and see if we can get him as many touches as he can.”
Meanwhile, injury-prone Wallabies backrower Hugh McMeniman won’t fly to Wellington and instead undergo a shoulder reconstruction.
The 29-year-old backrower suffered the injury during the Super Rugby season and on the advice of Wallabies medical staff will now have the surgery.
Playing his last Test in 2008, McMeniman made his return to the Wallabies fold at blindside flanker in Sydney.
The Australians won’t bring another player into the squad, with his Western Force teammate Scott Fardy most likely to go into the starting side.© AAP 2014