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Debutant Porecki ready for England's fire

Thu, 30/06/2022, 8:23 am
Melissa Woods - AAP
by Melissa Woods - AAP
Wallabies Quade Cooper and Rob Valetini have spoken to the media from the Sunshine Coast.

New Wallabies hooker Dave Porecki says he can't rely on his years of toil in English rugby to give him an upper hand when he makes his Test debut in Perth.

Porecki and 33-year-old Cadeyrn Neville are the two new faces as the Australians look to end seven years of dominance by England in the three-Test series beginning on Saturday.

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Neville was first included in a Wallabies training squad way back in 2012 - the same year skipper Michael Hooper, who has now played 118 Tests, made his debut.

The towering Brumbies lock has spent time at three Australian Super Rugby clubs as well as a stint in Japan before finally breaking into Australia's match-day 23 this week.

Porecki, 29, has also taken the scenic journey, leaving the NSW Waratahs after one game in 2015 before signing back on with them in 2020 to become their first-choice No.2.

He spent the interim playing for Saracens and London Irish in England, intent on improving his set piece play, something which captured the eye of Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

But Porecki says he can't rely on that UK club rugby experience for any kind of edge when he fronts up against a powerhouse England pack who will go out of their way to test the rookie's game. 

"I don't think that said any competitive advantage or it should make me any more comfortable," Porecki said on Thursday.

"A lot of the boys that I'm scrumming with have faced the same lads on an international stage and I haven't. 

"I know a couple of the England players from seven years ago when I played with them at Saracens but I've developed and I'm sure they've developed as well.

"I know the sort of threat that they'll bring."

Porecki felt being an older debutant could work in favour of both he and Neville, who was a former elite rower and only took up rugby as a 20-year-old.

It meant they wouldn't be overawed by the long-awaited occasion.

"Maybe just around nerves ... you know what sort of works for you leading into games and you don't tend to get overwhelmed," he said.

"We've had a short preparation leading into England but a lot of the work's been done throughout the Super season and to get selected you've obviously done something right.

"Why change that just because you're playing for the Wallabies? You've got to keep doing what you're doing, what brought you here, and you're have some confidence in that."

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