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The in-camp Wallabies reaction to Eddie Jones' latest high profile axing

By AAP
Australia's head coach Eddie Jones (L) looks on during training session in Sydney on July 14, 2023, ahead of their Rugby Championship match against Argentina. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Kellaway believes the cut-throat battle for Rugby World Cup spots hasn’t changed the mindset of the Wallabies players as they hunt their first win of the year in Melbourne’s Bledisloe Cup match.

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A hamstring injury meant Kellaway missed Australia’s first two Tests under new coach Eddie Jones but he’s in line to start at fullback against the unbeaten All Blacks on Saturday at the MCG.

The Wallabies look set to be without injured co-captain Michael Hooper after the veteran flanker failed to train with team on Monday in Melbourne.

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The moves come amid speculation Jones had considered naming his squad for the World Cup in France early to alleviate anxiety within the playing group.

Tom Wright started in the No.15 jersey against South Africa and Argentina but was then was ruthlessly axed from the squad altogether, while Reece Hodge and Pete Samu were also selection casualties.

Conceding some of his teammates might handle the selection squeeze differently, Kellaway didn’t feel the pressure on players had changed.

“I don’t think anxiety is right word, I think it’s expectation,” Kellaway said.

“We’ve always known that – you don’t perform you’re out, right? So seeing a guy of Wrighty’s class leave the group is only sort of reaffirmation of that fact.

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“We’re blessed with depth in the outside backs here and if you don’t take your opportunity you leave yourself up for those things you can’t control.

“But I don’t think there’s anything new there, that’s something that’s always there.”

Australia haven’t won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002, in Jones’ first stint as coach.

In Melbourne last year they came desperately close to victory in the first fixture before a controversial 39-37 loss after a late All Blacks try.

Kellaway crossed twice in that Marvel Stadium match and said the performance gave the team belief, despite the chorus of naysayers after their recent losses.

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“Tweak a little bit of the management of the referee there at the end of Melbourne last year and it’s a different story,” Kellaway said.

“If we reflect on that, I think the biggest lesson and probably the most important is that if we play the way we want to play we give ourselves every chance.”

While Hooper looks set to miss his second game due to a calf injury, burly prop Taniela Tupou has declared he’s ready for his first Test since rupturing his achilles tendon last November.

The 27-year-old recovered well after playing 40 minutes for Australia A against his birth country Tonga but was ill over the weekend.

Tupou was in the thick of action at training on Monday and said he hoped to play.

“The last few days was hard but I trained today and did everything and my body feels good and I feel ready to go,” Tupou said.

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Comments

2 Comments
A
Al 352 days ago

He may be looking for a new job. i do feel sorry for him after last nights 7-38 earthquake from the All blacks but you don't come out firing insults and statements you cant make happen

J
Janet 353 days ago

Good luck to the Wallabies your gonna need it. But Eddie Jones is my favourite so it’s your turn to beat the ABS again Eddie make it 6 or will it be 7 wins,I’m sorry I got your winning streak against the ABS wrong in another post. Sorry Eddie but this one is ours. 🙏🏻🙏🏻💖💖

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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