Wallabies with unfinished business at Twickenham

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies have some unfinished business to attend to in London this week, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says.

Australia has lost its last four matches against England, but will come into their Twickenham clash on Saturday with confidence and a vastly different team to this time last year.

Polota-Nau missed their final clash in 2016 with an arm injury, but featured in all thee June losses, and said the pack was particularly keen to show history was exactly that. 

“I think we've got some unfinished business against them,” he said.


“Obviously last year we didn't get the results we were after so, it's more so having to go from there and hopefully (get) the front foot dominance instead of receiving it.

“I think more or less, (it’s)  just having to put history in the past and making sure we continue the form that we're on.”

Polota-Nau admitted the perception that the north reigned supreme in scrum battles was still pervasive, but that didn't matter.

Australia has had success against Northern Hemisphere packs in recent years, most notably at the World Cup against England and Wales.

“There is (that perception), but to be honest, we don't really take that into consideration because at the end of the day we've got our own standards to uphold,” he said.


“So, the more we can uphold those standards, the easier for us to measure what's required in order to represent the gold jersey.”

Adam Coleman is another 2016 absentee who will be at Twickenham, with the now well-established second rower to lead the Wallabies’ lineout against England.

Coleman has played at Twickenham just once in his career, against Argentina, but said he wasn’t worried about he extra spotlight that would come with the lead-in to the England Test.

“We speak about every week being the same, whether you're playing England, whether you're playing the All Blacks,” he said.

“We're really making sure we get the finer detail in our game and we think that will be the difference.”

The Wallabies’ gritty effort in Wales was a far cry from the defensive issues they suffered last year and in early parts of this Test season and Coleman said it felt like the squad had adapted to a new way of stopping tries.

“We had new systems in place and I think it just took a little bit of time for the boys to really shore up and nail down that detail within our defensive systems,” he said.

“I think the boys are down pat now and it's really showing in an 80-minute performance.”


That performance called on the Wallabies’ bench forwards to step up and Coleman said it was something on which the team put great value.

“We really have pride in our bench and the impact they make and I've got complete confidence in whoever gets subbed in or subbed out and they add to the team,” he said.

“It's not about just being the same, they add that little bit extra in the back end of games.”

The Wallabies travelled to London on Sunday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s England Test.

Australia takes on England at Twickenham on Saturday November 11, kicking off at 3pm local, 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS.