Wallabies preparing for England's lineout "tricks" at Twickenham: Rodda

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Izack Rodda says the Australian lineout has turned a corner but they’ve got work to do to prepare for England’s lineout “tricks”.

Australia’s lineout has been inconsistent this season but Rodda said he felt that things had begun to really come together in recent weeks, culminating in some strong defensive reads against Italy in Padova.

Last week’s effort will have to be topped, though, against England who have one of the most unpredictable set piece strategies.

“It’s definitely improving, definitely turned a corner and (we’re) starting to get consistency back but we've got a big challenge this week,” he said.

“England are quite good on the defensive lineout, they have a lot of movement, different structures so we have to be really keyed on to our moves and calls.”

Maro Itoje shapes as one of the biggest dangers for the Wallabies and he has wreaked some havoc in their recent clashes, Rodda said.

Maro Itoje is a major weapon for England. Photo: Getty Images“They have a lot of different setups which makes it harder for the caller to work out where they’re going to call,” he said.

“For instance, Itoje will be at the front at some lineouts but at the back at others and they just change their personnel around and play tricks with you when you’re trying to work out where to call.”

England’s attacking lineout was picked off by New Zealand a fortnight ago in the latter stages of the game and Rodda said they had to be adaptable to try and dismantle the English set piece.

“As the game goes on you get a picture of what is happening and if  you are smart enough you can adjust on the run if you are taking things in like New Zealand did,” he said.

“Definitely been taking things in from every team that has played them and working out what will work for us.”

Rodda had his best game in a Wallabies jersey when the Aussies played Italy, taking two lineout steals and making some big gains in attack, something he said was down to finally beginning to settle into the national fold.

“I was more comfortable in my lineout role but (also) just getting more touches of the ball and allowing myself to do what I’m good at, running with the ball, and I’m starting to get some game fitness, a bit more time and I’m getting more comfortable,” he said.

Rodda is on his first Northern Hemisphere tour this season after a shoulder injury prematurely ended his 2017 season and said he was beginning to feel more settled in the Test fold.

“It has been great to string a few games together,” he said.

“It has really been the first season where I have really been able to string a few games together without being injured and just getting the game fitness and just to play at that level it has been very good.”

The Wallabies take on England at Twickenham on Saturday November 24, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.