Wal­la­bies told not to hold back

RUGBY: Oz name 5 new play­ers

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

SYD­NEY — Aus­tralia cap­tain James Hor­will will tell his team to trust their in­stincts and “have a dig” when they face world cham­pi­ons New Zealand in the open­ing match of the Rugby Cham­pi­onship to­day.

Hor­will and the Wal­la­bies are des­per­ate to put the dis­ap­point­ment of last month’s Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions se­ries de­feat be­hind them and get new coach Ewen McKen­zie off to a win­ning start at the Olympic Sta­dium.

McKen­zie has named five un­capped play­ers in his match­day squad and Hor­will, who played un­der the for­mer Test prop for four years at the Queens­land Reds, said his fi­nal words of ad­vice would be for the rook­ies to back them­selves.

“I’ll tell the new guys it’s just an­other game of football, as big as it is,” the lock told re­porters yes­ter­day. “You got your­self here be­cause you’re good foot­ballers so you’ve got to go out there and back your­self.

“Don’t think twice and if you think some­thing’s on, have a dig be­cause I’ll never crit­i­cise you for hav­ing a go and hav­ing a crack and nei­ther will Ewen.”

Hor­will has played New Zealand 10 times and ended up a win­ner only twice, the first time in pre­vi­ous coach Rob­bie Deans’s first match in charge in 2008.

McKen­zie has said he will en­cour­age his side to play “the Aus- tralian way” with ball in hand and has picked a po­tent, if in­ex­pe­ri­enced, back three of Is­rael Fo­lau, James O’Con­nor and Jesse Mogg.

Winger Fo­lau will be play­ing his fourth Test af­ter ex­plod­ing onto the in­ter­na­tional scene in the Lions se­ries, high­lighted by his two-try de­but in the opener.

Scrumhalf Will Ge­nia said he had been highly im­pressed in train­ing by full­back Jesse Mogg, who made his de­but as a re­place­ment winger in the third Lions Test.

To­day’s match is the first of three against the All Blacks over the next few months with an­other Rugby Cham­pi­onship match in Welling­ton next week and a third Bledis­loe Cup Test in Dunedin in Oc­to­ber. — Reuters.


Wal­la­bies coach Ewen McKen­zie is look­ing to trans­form Aus­tralian rugby into the pow­er­house that it once was, start­ing with vic­tory over the All Blacks to­day.

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