Wal­la­bies load­ing up ahead of key All Blacks ties

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

SYD­NEY: Cap­tain Stephen Moore has wel­comed the Wal­la­bies plan to get Aus­tralia’s play­ers fit enough for Test rugby ahead of crunch matches against the All Blacks in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

Moore had ex­pressed his frus­tra­tion with the fit­ness lev­els of his col­leagues af­ter Aus­tralia laboured to a 40-27 win over Italy in Bris­bane last month, fad­ing badly in the sec­ond half be­fore grab­bing two late tries to stave off a shock de­feat.

Wal­la­bies coaches have con­tacted Su­per Rugby fran­chises to en­sure those in con­tention to face world cham­pi­ons New Zealand on Au­gust 19 are in prime con­di­tion.

“We didn’t want to be in that sit­u­a­tion where we did have to top play­ers up at this stage of the year, but we are,” hooker Moore said.

“We just have to work as hard as we can now to make sure we’re as well pre­pared as we can be for that first test match.”

None of Aus­tralia’s five Su­per Rugby teams have beaten New Zealand op­po­nents this sea­son with two more weeks of matches plus the play-offs still re­main­ing.

Af­ter eas­ing past Fiji in Mel­bourne in the first of three June in­ter­na­tion­als, Aus­tralia suf­fered a sur­prise 24-19 loss to Scot­land in Syd­ney be­fore the huge scare against Italy at Lang Park.

“I think there was a recog­ni­tion the load­ings weren’t where they needed to be go­ing into that June se­ries so that’s the cold, hard facts of it,” Moore added.

“If you look at the big pic­ture, you’d prob­a­bly like to work that stuff in ear­lier in the sea­son and I know there’s some dis­cus­sions to make sure that hap­pens. All I know is there’s a plan, now, right up un­til the first game. There’s go­ing to be some camps and ex­tra work to make sure that we’re as best pre­pared as we can.”

The tour­na­ment start next month on the 19th. – Reuters

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