Big No.8 Naisarani joins Wallaby training camp
BLEDISLOE SQUAD UPDATE: The big No.8 Isi Naisarani has been called up to join the Wallaby training camp as they look to reinforce their back row for the third Bledisloe Cup encounter against New Zealand.
He was a surprise omission to a lot of people when he wasn’t selected for the original 44-man squad but he’s been given a second chance to impress head coach Dave Rennie.
Naisarani, after being out with a serious hamstring injury, was slow to return to Super Rugby AU with his team, The Rebels, holding him back when he failed to meet the fitness and weight standards.
Rennie gave the big 25-year-old similar feedback but he continued to train in Canberra in the hope of strong-arming his way back into the Wallaby squad.
The Australian back row continues to be a problem as Dave Rennie struggles to settle on a combination he feels confident with.
After the initial 16-all draw with the All Blacks, he made changes and after the dismal showing in the second test where they lost 7-27 he’s suggested that there will be more however it’s doubtful Naisarani will brought straight into the selection mix.
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In other news Waratahs hooker Tom Horton, has been replaced with his Brumbies counterpart, Connal McInerney.
With the first two tests having been played in the land of the long white cloud Wallaby prop Scott Sio says they can’t wait to run out back on home soil in front of a home crowd at ANZ Stadium in Sydney!
In a wonderful boost for morale families of some of the players have joined the team in Hunter and this is especially so for Marika Koroibete who hasn’t seen his Melbourne-based family for months now.
With the two losses in New Zealand Australia desperately need to put a tick in the win column if they’re to have any hope of keeping the four-Test series alive.
“It’s massive to be at ANZ,” Sio said.
“We know how passionate our fans are, so to be able to play in front of many people with gold jerseys on is very special to us.
“Just being back at home you can feel the vibe – everyone got a bit of time to see family, partners and kids and it’s created a lot of positivity in and around the group which is something I think we can put into our week.”
Sio said they had discussed at length the two glaring deficiencies that needed to be improved upon – namely the high number of missed tackles (which almost doubled the All Black tally) and a vastly improved kicking game.
The prop forward felt that the problems in their kicking game stemmed from their poor defense which had placed them under enormous pressure at Eden Park.
“Obviously there were many parts of the game where we need to be better as a team if we want to beat the All Blacks,” Sio said.
“Playing positionally – within our kicking game I don’t think we gave ourselves the best chance to cut space down.
“They’ve got a pretty electric back three and if you give them time and space they’re very talented.
“The most important thing we took out of that game was kicking on our terms technically and making sure we’re set early in the defensive line so we can make the right reads.”
The All Blacks have already arrived in Sydney on Sunday but the Wallabies have chosen to remain in Hunter until Thursday before making the move.