Back row depth driving Fardy

by Staff Writer

Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy says it will be a strange build up to this weekend’s clash with England, as they prepare to play at Twickenham.

Australia will face England and Wales at the ground in the pool stages and could play up to three more with all their pool qualifiers’ knock out games pencilled in for the London ground.

Fardy said he was excited for the unique opportunity to play at a ground at least twice against different opponents, when they would normally travel there just once a year.

“You wouldn’t play that many games at Twickenham in a year and you’re not playing England there every time (in this tournament),” he said.

“It’s a very strange kind of set up but we haven’t really thought about it overly much.

“We know we’ve got England at Twickenham and we’re concentrating on what we’re doing at training more so than anything else.”

In some ways the Australian number six has been the forgotten Aussie flanker, at least from the amount of external talk around his fellow back rowers David Pocock and Michael Hooper, whose combination has been successful for the Wallabies in both their starting outings.

Fardy said the combination of the two has not affected his game too much, having, played alongside both at Wallabies level and pairing with Pocock as his openside in Super Rugby.

“I guess I’m there for the lineout and the areas around set piece,” he said.

“It changes a little bit my role, (I’ll do) a bit more ball carrying if I get the opportunity.

“It’s just a full mix of what a normal blindside does.

“I don’t think it changes that much with those two on the field for me. I think I just play my role, that’s what I’ve been selected to do.”

The back row depth the Wallabies enjoy was illustrated on Sunday against Uruguay, with a man of the match performance from Sean McMahon at number seven, just pipping Ben McCalman.

Fardy, who was 24th man for that clash, said that wealth of class was certainly a motivating factor to make an impression in training.

“It drives us all,” he said.

“The guys at training - Sean McMahon the other day is an example of a guy who’s probably one of the best back rowers behind but sitting behind two great sevens so it’s hard for him to crack.

“Every time he plays he gets man of the match, which he was excellent vs Uruguay.

“So that back row depth is driving us at training and we help each other out with the squad mentality, which has been great.”

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