Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand v Australia, Wellington
Scott Fardy makes run-on debut
August 22, 2013
Scott Fardy is rewarded for his fine form with the Brumbies © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has backed his new-look squad to respond to their humbling 47-29 Bledisloe Cup loss to the All Blacks last week, making just one injury-enforced change to his starting side for the return fixture in Wellington.
Scott Fardy will make his run-on debut for Australia on the blindside flank in The Rugby Championship Test at Westpac Stadium, replacing Hugh McMeniman after the Western Force player sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Sydney. Fardy, 29, made his Test debut off the bench in Sydney only two seasons after he was uncapped at Super Rugby level and playing for Japanese club Kamaishi Seawaves. Kane Douglas replaces Fardy on the bench in the only other change made to the matchday squad.
"You can't fudge experience and I know this group learned a great deal from last week and will be much better for the experience on Saturday night," McKenzie said a week after fielding five debutants and five players with fewer than Test 10 caps. "We made a decision to reward players that were in form, and who we believed were capable of executing what we are trying to achieve as a group. That doesn't change overnight or following one losing result.
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"It's always important to be conscious of finding a balance between selecting experience against youth, but the only way to develop that experience is by providing opportunities to players and hoping they take them. Right now, I'm more concerned with how each individual responds to the defeat. We need to fix aspects of our performance but we will get better the more time we spend together. However, in saying that, you only get a finite number of chances at Test level so it's important that you don't let the moment pass. That's been made very clear this week as has the expectation of the level of improvement we need from each player within the squad."
Australia must defeat the All Blacks in Wellington if they are to keep alive their hopes of regaining the Bledisloe Cup since 2002, with the third Test against New Zealand to be played in Dunedin on October 19. Australia have not defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand in 14 Tests since their 2001 fixture at Carisbrook.
Wallabies: Jesse Mogg; Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Leali'ifano, James O'Connor; Matt Toomua, Will Genia; Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, Scott Sio, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Liam Gill, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani.
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