Connolly keen to experiment

Australia coach John Connolly has confirmed he will use the Test matches against Wales and Fiji to try and find the right blend ahead of the World Cup. [more]

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Australia coach John Connolly has confirmed he will use the Test matches against Wales and Fiji to try and find the right blend ahead of the World Cup.

With the experienced George Gregan and up and coming Matt Giteau seemingly battling it out for the crucial number nine jersey in France, Connolly will give both players an equal chance of seizing the starting spot ahead of the tournament later this year.

"We’ll look at both options," Connolly told The Daily Telegraph. "If we go one way in the first Test we may go a different way in the second or third Test.

"Giteau will probably get a run at nine at some stage and he will get a run in the centres at some stage."

With two Test matches against Wales in Sydney and Brisbane and one against an improving Fiji side, the Wallabies will have limited time to get the best combinations in place before the World Cup.

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Connolly’s confident stance has been backed by starting Wallabies flyhalf Stephen Larkham, who predicted that Australia will have a settled line-up come the Tri-Nations kick-off in Cape Town on June 16.

"Up until the Tri-Nations there is an opportunity for the selectors to experiment in certain positions," said Larkham who will join Edinburgh at the completion of the World Cup.

"I think it’s probably a good opportunity for us to really work on our execution and build as a team, which is always important in a World Cup year."

The current 37-man Wallabies squad has assembled in Sydney for a three-day training camp, with the squad to be whittled down to 30 for the opening Test against Wales on May 26.

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