Connolly hopes for fresher climate

Australia coach John Connolly is confident cooler weather in Canberra will help his side prepare for their Tri-Nations meeting with the All Blacks on August 19. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Australia coach John Connolly is confident cooler weather in Canberra will help his side prepare for their Tri-Nations meeting with the All Blacks on August 19.

The Wallabies have lost two Tests to the All Blacks in the series, and after an ugly 20-18 triumph over South Africa last Saturday, a number of former players and coaches have been quick to criticise the national side’s performances.

But Connolly is hopeful that the fresher weather and, given the Wallabies’ six-year absence from the capital city, will help preparations for Auckland Test on Saturday week.

"It will certainly provide some benefit for us, training in the colder conditions, but we had planned to bring the team to Canberra before the start of the series," said Connolly, who also highlighted the similarities in the climates of Canberra and Auckland in August.

"We’ve made an effort to take the team back into the cities and I’m sure that the team will be embraced in Canberra given the extraordinary support that the Brumbies have enjoyed there over the past decade."

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George Gregan’s injured back-up Sam Cordingley has been named in the 32-man squad, but he has all but been ruled out of the game.

Instead, the Queensland Reds number nine will undergo scans with the national team’s medical team to determine the full extent of his foot injury.

"At this stage it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be fit to play in Auckland," said Wallabies team doctor Mark Raftery.

Cordingley’s injured team-mates Hugh McMenimen and Berrick Barnes will also join the squad from Thursday until Saturday to undergo treatment.

New additions include New South Wales halves Brett Sheehan and Josh Holmes, the pair included owing to Cordingley’s injury, plus Brumbies lock Al Campbell and new Western Force recruit Drew Mitchell.

Australia squad for Canberra training camp, August 10-16:

Al Baxter, Rodney Blake, Al Campbell, Mark Chisholm, Sam Cordingley, Rocky Elsom, Scott Fava, Mark Gerrard, Matt Giteau, George Gregan (c), Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes, Josh Holmes, Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham, Tai McIsaac, Drew Mitchell, Stirling Mortlock (vc), Wycliff Palu, Jeremy Paul, Clyde Rathbone, Benn Robinson, John Roe, Mat Rogers, Nathan Sharpe, Brett Sheehan, Cameron Shepherd, Guy Shepherdson, George Smith, Lote Tuqiri, Dan Vickerman (vc), Phil Waugh.

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