All Blacks captain Sam Cane is banking on his team’s enforcers to make life hard for Wallabies debutants Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.
Injuries to James O’Connor and Matt Toomua means the Wallabies will feature a rookie 10-12 combination for the must-win clash.
Lolesio, 20, will slot in at flyhalf while 25-year-old Simone has been named at inside centre.
Despite the duo’s immense talent their inclusion represents a big risk against the powerful All Blacks’ backline.
Cane said instead of ruffling the pair’s feathers with words his team would try to make their life hard by disrupting and rushing them.
“The best way to unsettle them would be us as a forward pack doing a quality job at set piece disrupting their ball,” Cane said.
“Us getting off the line and taking away their time and space.
“They’re quality young footballers. Anyone who chucks that Wallabies jersey on they’ll be going out there to put their best foot forward.
“If you think about most people who debut they have a pretty good game because it’s a realisation of a dream.
“Like any Test match we’ll certainly be looking to put pressure on the guys that drive them around the park.”
The All Blacks lead the four-match series 1-0 after following up the 16-16 draw in Wellington with a 27-7 win in Auckland.
If the Wallabies beat New Zealand this Saturday, next week’s clash in Brisbane will become a winner-takes-all affair.
Australia haven’t won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002 and are desperate to end the drought.
The Wallabies missed a whopping 40 tackles in their loss in Auckland, representing 27.5 per cent of their tackle attempts.
It’s a figure that the All Blacks took notice of.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d be doing a wee bit of tackling practice,” Cane said.
“Everyone knows your defence has to be good to win Test matches.
“We’re still confident that if we can hold onto the ball we can force them to make a lot of tackles and hopefully miss a few too.”
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