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Rennie first rewards Wallabies with four-year cap but ‘livid’ coaches want ‘ruthless’ response to delays




Barring a late accident, the Wallabies will enter Saturday’s second Test against the Springboks with an unchanged starting XV for the first time in more than four years – in stark contrast to the beleaguered Springboks.

It is the first time in Dave Rennie’s tenure, and the first time since the first and second Tests against Ireland in 2018, that the Wallabies have named the same starting squad two games in a row, according to RA stats. .

Rennie showed faith with the side that beat the Boks in Adelaide last weekend and for good reason.

Although the concession of two late tries was a blow, depriving the Wallabies of a bonus point that lifted Argentina to the top of the standings, it was an impressive performance from their starters.

There could be a change or two on the bench, with the full 23 to be revealed by Rennie at a press conference later Thursday.

Although expected, Noah Lolesio’s retention at No. 10 confirms the praise he received from Rennie after the game and assistant coach Scott Wisemantel.

Speaking on Wednesday, Wisemantel said coaches want Lolesio to start showing more aggression on the pitch.

“The only thing we wanted from Noah was to be a little more aggressive because he’s such a nice guy,” Wisemantel said.

“I want him to be dirty if he is not selected. I want him to come up to me and say ‘why’? And ‘how are we going to do this and what are you going to do for me.’

“It’s not rude. In this role of a player who touches the ball more than most players in the team, he has to have that authority and command.

“In fact, you have to practice it daily. Talk about wants and needs. “I need you here, I want you here, if you don’t show up there will be consequences”. It’s aggressive language. And off the pitch, Noah has nothing to do with it. But that’s part of his development, controlling men.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Wisemantel admitted the Wallabies were unhappy to have wasted the bonus point.

“You are dirty that you missed this point. You are absolutely livid,” Wisemantel said. “We are really disappointed with this last period of 8 to 10 minutes. We had chances. Even when it was three tries to one, we had another free-kick chance to do something.

“It’s another part of our development as a team. We have to be a little sharper, a little more ruthless in this regard. So it’s definitely something that we talked about and worked on.

The Wallabies suffered a season of injuries and late retirements but this week it was the Boks who were devastated by injuries as Jacques Nienaber made eight changes to his starting squad.

There will be plenty of eyes on teenage wing sensation Canan Moodie who has been selected for his debut.

“We’re thrilled to have him in the mix,” Nienaber said.

“He’s had an impressive run in the URC and we’ve watched him closely and are delighted to see him put his skills to a test match. He has been with us for a month I think and we are really happy to see his progress within the team and how comfortable he has become in the team.

“He’s a very coachable guy. He obviously has the skills and I’m very excited to see him. When you work with him, you won’t say he’s 19. He’s very mature for his age and he has a good rugby maturity and a good rugby brain.

Flyhalves Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies both succumbed to injury in the 25-17 loss to the Wallabies at the Adelaide Oval, meaning Damian Willemse will start at No.10.

He will be partnered by Jaden Hendrikse, who starts at scrum-half with Faf De Klerk kicked out of the squad after his yellow card for hitting Nic White.

“It’s unfortunate for the two guys who got injured, but it’s lucky for Damian. He played for us at the fly half this year in the first Welsh Test in Pretoria – he played there in the second half Nienaber said.

“We look forward to seeing him back in this position, and the combination between him and Willie (le Roux).”

“With me and (Willemse) it’s just about building a good relationship and understanding each other during the week,” Hendrikse said.

“It’s just sitting around each other and talking about rugby, getting to know each other. That’s the main thing between him and me.

“We have to be on the same page and know what to do in each situation.”




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