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Wallabies out to make history with win

  
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26/09/2012
By AAP .


The Qantas Wallabies are using their dismal record at the Springboks' fortress Loftus Versfeld as motivation for their battle in the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship on Saturday.

Since the first Test was played at the Pretoria ground in 1963 the Wallabies have never found a way to crack the South Africans in their five Tests there.

But rather than ignore that disappointing statistic the Australians have embraced it and set their minds on creating history.

"It's a big motivation for us," said Wallabies back Berrick Barnes.

"Any side that's come here knows how tough it is but it's also a big chance."

After breaking a 47-year hoodoo on the high veldt with their 2010 win at Bloemfontein when Kurtley Beale slotted the winning penalty at the death, backrower Dave Dennis said they were ready for another history-making moment.

"We've talked about it and winning at Pretoria is a massive challenge for us," Dennis said.

"The boys are in a good head space at the moment and they want to achieve things as they go along."

In their last Test at Loftus in 2010 Australia were over-run by the home side 44-31 after leading by four at half-time.

There are eight players backing up from that encounter but also plenty of new blood including halfback Nick Phipps, flanker Michael Hooper and lock Kane Douglas.

Hooper said he wasn't bothered by the hostile environment at the Bulls' home ground.

"We (the Brumbies) narrowly went down this year," he said.

"It's a great place to play, when they're booing you you're doing well, it's exciting."

Coach Robbie Deans described playing a match at Loftus as the ultimate for a player, recalling his own match there with the All Blacks.

"They've played South Africa previously and they've played at Loftus previously but it is a significant occasion and it's one that's special," Deans said.

"It can be a mental barrier if you allow it to be but these blokes have played here at altitude that often now it's not the barrier it used to be."

Deans didn't want to comment on recent criticism from Quade Cooper, who didn't make the two-match trip due to knee surgery, however he said the five-eighth would be welcomed back into the Wallabies fold.

"Absolutely," Deans said.

He said Cooper's criticism about his game plan and his statement that the Wallabies environment was "toxic" hadn't been a distraction in the team's preparation.

Meanwhile, Stephen Moore missed a chance to surpass Jeremy Paul as Australia's most capped Test hooker, sent back to Australia after his troublesome hamstring injury flared.

Queensland's James Hanson has flown in as his replacement.

Lock Sitaleki Timani was given an extra training session to test his injured hamstring.

Timani lost five kilograms when struck by a gastro bug that hit six players but has recovered from that illness with his injury the only concern.