McKenzie expects experience to shine at Rosario
October 4, 2013
Genia required to steer the Wallabies into winning form in Rosario © Getty Images
Will Genia is the only change to the starting line-up for Australia's final Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Rosario on Saturday night. The 48-game Test veteran has been given the nod over Nic White after McKenzie said he expected Genia to bring his experience to the game.
"We're working hard on how we want to play the game and Will is obviously a very experienced player," McKenzie said. "We were pleased with the contributions of Nic but Will is proven at this level and we are faced with a very difficult game in a tough playing environment. As a result, we've gone for Will's experience to help get us going and manage the performance."
"We knew Will would respond to being on the bench and work hard to get his place back. He's been very open minded and focused on the things which will make the biggest difference."
NSW Waratahs playmaker Bernard Foley has also been rewarded and is now in line to make his Wallabies Test debut after earning a spot on the bench. "Foles has been around the edges of the Australian squad for about 12 months now. He had a great year with the Waratahs and keeps on getting better and better. Everyone here has been really impressed with how he goes about his business."
McKenzie said he expected both Genia and Foley to positively contribute to the team performance. "He is a professional operator, a terrific player and has done everything he can to help the team. It's only natural that you try and find opportunities for a player like that and we are looking forward to seeing how he will go on the field. We think it's a good mix for the game and how we want to play, while also covering all the positions."
Victory is crucial for the Wallabies on Saturday as they aim to finish their Rugby Championship on a high by securing their second victory over Argentina in 2013, following on from their gutsy 14-13 victory in Perth.
"The reality is we are fighting for the wrong end of the competition, so we have to get out there and make good things happen," McKenzie said. "You always get something out of dealing with adversity and I'm confident we will eventually click. We've got a good bunch of guys who are working hard, so there aren't any reasons to expect they shouldn't put in a good performance this weekend.
"Everyone talks about the colosseum atmosphere and the noise in Rosario. It's amazing but also daunting and you need to be able to function in that space. We'll take steps this week to ensure that when the players arrive at the stadium they aren't surprised."
Follow live text commentary of the Test between Argentina and Australia on Saturday, October 5 from 1040pm (GMT) , 940am (AEDT, October 6)
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