Wallabies shooting for top pool spot

by RUGBY.com.au staff

With top spot in Pool A still up for grabs, Australia flanker Scott Fardy says the Wallabies won’t be turning the intensity down.

While both the Wallabies and their final pool opponents, Wales, are safely through to the quarter-finals a win on Saturday would pit them against Scotland or Japan.

The loser will likely face a final eight match-up against South Africa, who have bounced back after their opening loss to the Brave Blossoms.

That side of the draw also opens up the possibility of playing defending champions New Zealand in a semi-final.

“It’s important where you finish and who you’re going to play in quarter-finals and stuff so both teams will realise that,” Fardy said.

“At the end of the day it’s a Test match, it’s an opportunity to wear your nation’s jersey and you never take that for granted .

“You always want to make sure you get a win in that jersey and make sure you do your best for your country. Both teams will be looking to do that.”

Fardy’s fellow back rower, Michael Hooper, faces a hearing on Tuesday that will determine his availability for the match, after he was cited for alleged foul play.

Although confident of a positive result for vice-captain Hooper, Fardy said he was confident the Wallabies would be able to draw on their depth.

Openside flanker Sean McMahon turned in a man of the match performance against Uruguay, while Ben McCalman was impressive at six and has the ability to play number eight if required.

Speaking before news of Hooper’s citing, Fardy expressed his faith in every player’s ability to slot into the Wallabies system, a result of the whole squad mentality coach Michael Cheika has instilled.

“If another guy came in, if a Ben McCalman came in, we’d adapt straight into the shape that we play and do what we do well,” he said.

“We don’t change anything on the training paddock, we just do the role that we’ve been given.

“The system revolves around any guy being able to come into a position and play it well.

“We’re very confident in what we can get out of all players on the field in the 31-man squad.”

Welsh captain and number seven, Sam Warburton, poses a more intimidating threat in the breakdown than England’s back row but Fardy said the side would be ready for the Welsh openside.

“Warburton’s got other strings to his bow,” he said.

“He’s probably a bit taller than most specialist sevens that we see in Australia.

“I think it doesn’t really change much of what we do.

“Our ruck work’s efficient and we’re doing a good job in that area.”