Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 18 News List

Wallabies prepare to face S Africa in Tri-Nations opener

AP , PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

Australia rugby coach Eddie Jones says the Wallabies will have to spread the ball wide if they are to beat South Africa in Saturday's Tri-Nations opener at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

South Africa, the defending Tri-Nations champion, defeated the Wallabies 33-20 last weekend to retain the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate, largely through starving the Australians of possession.

Speaking to a media conference Thursday, Jones said the lineouts had caused the biggest problems for his team.

"We've progressed well in the scrums and mauls, but we're not where we want to be in the lineouts," he said.

In a bid to remedy the problem, Jones has recalled South African-born lock Daniel Vickerman and brought in backrower John Roe to replace the injured and inexperienced Rocky Elsom.

South Africa coach Jake White added pace to his backrow to counteract Australian flanker George Smith's ability to win loose ball, with No. 8 Jacques Cronje joining Joe van Niekerk and Juan Smith.

Experienced scrumhalf Fourie du Preez also joins the South Africa team in place of Enrico Januarie.

"It indicates how they will play. I think they'll play around the rucks a bit more," said Jones. "If we get quick ball, and get width and space, we can maybe work an advantage in that area."

South Africa retained the backline which was so effective -- on defense and attack -- in the Mandela Challenge victory, which means Australia will have to find ways of stopping inside center Jean de Villiers from building on his impressive debut in the position.

"It indicates how they will play. I think they'll play around the rucks a bit more," said Jones.

"If we get quick ball, and get width and space, we can maybe work an advantage in that area," Jones added.

South Africa retained the backline which was so effective in the Mandela Challenge victory, which means Australia will have to find ways of stopping inside center Jean de Villiers from building on his good debut.

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