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Dennis and Timani to bolster Wallabies

  
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9/9/2013


The Qantas Wallabies forward pack is set to be bolstered with the call up of NSW Waratahs duo loose forward Dave Dennis and lock Sitaleki Timani, who have been called in to the squad as replacements for the injured captain James Horwill and flanker Jake Schatz, who will be sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury.

Wallabies head coach Ewen McKenzie expected both players to fit in to the squad quickly ahead of the Wallabies clash with Argentina in the fourth round of the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship this Saturday night in Perth.

There is a strong possibility both Dennis and Timani will take part at some point on the weekend.

"Dave Dennis was involved in the original camp. He's got some idea where we are going," explained McKenzie.

"Sita hasn't been involved, but where we are at the moment we are digging deep in our second-row area. We are not going to rule anything in or out."

McKenzie was expecting another physical contest from the Pumas, after the bruising Test against the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday night. The Wallabies coach is familiar with the Argentinean squad after coaching a number of them during his time at Stade Francais.

"I've coached a couple of those guys when I was in France," he said. "They have some great combos. I know exactly what they're good at.

"They have a very abrasive style. Very confrontational up front. It is not an easy game. It is the sort of game we need at the moment. We need a physical challenge to get ourselves right.

"You've got to be able to defuse how they play. High balls and things like that. They have been shifting the ball more in recent times. There is a bit more attack there, but they will be confrontational. Their scrum will be all right. They will be good at the breakdown. The breakdown is where the game is at the moment."

Although McKenzie is committed to maintaining the Wallabies positive style he said this week the focus would be on the result.

"Right now a win is probably the most important thing for us," McKenzie said. "We will circle the wagons and have a good look at that for next week.

"The ambition is good. The attitude is good. But if you actually look at the games as they have panned out, we have been level-pegging in all of them and then there has been ... 10 minutes where we have basically let them off the hook.

"Two quick tries or a yellow card or whatever, there has been a moment and we have lost our way. There is a football solution there, but we have to tough those moments out too. There is a trend which we need to address."

McKenzie believes the Wallabies are creating opportunities but it is the failure to capitalize on those opportunities that has been the difference in the last three Tests.

"We have made more line-breaks, we have broken more tackles, we have run more metres” he stated. “We have had more positive advantage line and speed of ball.”

"We win all those categories every week. We kick less than our opponents. But our turnover rate is too high. Simple as that."

"I want us to invest in playing skilful rugby and using the ball. It is a question of how quickly you get there."

"We need to persist with that or go back and have a look and say okay, what's winning rugby at the moment. I think our guys want to back themselves in the skills stakes and keep going. I don't see this as insurmountable by any stretch. It's just a matter of getting the focus on the right things.

"The simplest thing for us is to concentrate on our line integrity. In the last three Tests we have improved our line integrity. That's why our tackle percentages have been much better. The minute we move away from that and we probably did it three times last night it cost us in different ways."

To get your tickets to see the Qantas Wallabies take on Argentina in the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship this Saturday night in Perth click here