Wallabies coach John Connolly admits Australia's inexperienced front row will be under extreme pressure when they face the powerful New Zealand scrum in the Tri-Nations opener on Saturday.
The Australian scrum has a new look this season after last year's demolitions by England and Wales, but a question mark hangs over the Wallabies' combination of Guy Shepherdson, Tai McIsaac and Greg Holmes, who collectively boast just seven Test starts.
The All Blacks, on the other hand, can boast experienced performers Craig Hayman, Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu, who have 78 caps between them.
"Our young guys line up against a very experienced front row and it (the scrum) will be very important in terms of the outcome of the match I would suggest," Connolly told Fox Sports.
"We've had three good wins and we're happy with our progress so far, but there is still a lot of improvement in this team.
"Playing against New Zealand is a massive step up from what we've had so far and we certainly acknowledge that we are going to have to lift another gear for them this Saturday night."