Robbie Deans hoping for continuity against Wales

By Sam Rogers
australia rugby
(Photo: Ciarán Bohane)

australia rugby

Australia coach Robbie Deans believes being able to pick the same side that beat the All Blacks last week will benefit his team against Wales on Saturday.

Deans has named an unchanged squad to the side that beat New Zealand 26-24 in the final Bledisloe cup game of the season in Hong Kong and will have stars such as Quade Cooper, Matt Giteau and Kurtley Beale at his disposal for Saturday’s clash at the Millennium Stadium.

Deans said: “We will pick what we deem to be our best line-up against Wales to hopefully perform and get a result.

“It appears we have come through the New Zealand game unscathed and have the potential to name an unchanged side, which makes a change.

“Continuity is starting to serve us. Those who played in Hong Kong have done their chances of being selected on Saturday no harm.”

Wales, however, have lost a number of key players including charismatic full-back Lee Byrne, who has been ruled out of all of the autumn internationals.

Australia won convincingly 33-12 at the Millennium Stadium last year but have been known to perform inconsistently in the Welsh capital.

Deans also stressed his side will not take Wales for granted despite the New Zealand performance.

“Confidence and belief are good if well-founded and well-applied,” he added. “If we were to make any presumptions about Saturday it would be to our disadvantage.

“The result (against New Zealand) will benefit the side.

“But Wales played very well in New Zealand in the summer, far better than the scoreboard indicated.

“They played a lot of good rugby, but they did not get a lot of reward for it.”

The Wallabies will go into the clash as firm favourites, with the dynamic Cooper set to pull the strings from fly half.

He added: “What happens in the future remains to be seen, but he (Cooper) is getting an opportunity. He is a bit like us – we are not the complete package, but we are working hard at it.”

Australia play Wales on Saturday before England, Italy and France in consecutive weeks as part of their autumn tour.

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