Rugby Championship News

Connolly predicts All Black changes





Australian coach John Connolly believes his side will face an All Black side showing at least four changes to that which narrowly edged past South Africa in the Tri-Nations on Saturday.

Connolly nominated Kevin Mealamu to come in at hooker, Chris Jack to return at lock, Piri Weepu to slot in at scrum-half and Luke McAlister to take one of the centre berths.

Jack is widely expected to return, having been away on compassionate leave for the birth of his first child. The All Black line-out was a major area of concern in Durban and the return of Jack, a line-out master, will be a welcome one for the visitors.

Saturday’s Test in Melbourne is the first of two Bledisloe Cup clashes and Connolly believes New Zealand will not only change personnel but also their style of play.

“I also think they will change the way they play, they will throw the inside balls against us a lot more,” Connolly told The New Zealand Herald.

Commenting on the All Blacks’ narrow win, Connolly stated the replacement of Butch James as the turning-point whilst admitting New Zealand are without doubt the best side in the world at present heading into the World Cup.

“They’re number one in the world by a distance and they deserve that,” Connolly said.

“They’re strong favourites, they’ve just got so much depth. The list across the board is just so strong and they’ve got so many weapons on the field.”
365 Digital

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