Timani targets setpiece parity

Wallaby lock SitalekiTimani says the setpiece will be a big battleground when his side take on England at Twickenham on Saturday. [more]

Timani targets setpiece parity

Wallaby lock SitalekiTimani says the setpiece will be a big battleground when his side take on England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Australia arrive in London on the back of a mauling by the French last weekend and Timani knows improvements will need to be made at scrum time and in the lineout if they are to avoid a similar fate this time out.

“The setpiece will be very important for us. The scrum is probably the main focus for us this week,” said Timani, who missed the Paris debacle with a back injury.

“The English have a great front row and a great pack so the scrum will be so important.

“We’ve talked about the setpiece a lot. It’s a bit different over here. We’ve been watching lots of footage and we’re trying to bring up what is going to work for us on Saturday.

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“We’re definitely looking at that first scrum. Also the first kick of the ball – it’s going to be on from there – and then the first scrum, the first lineout. It’s important for us to get a good start.

“We haven’t really looked at their team in terms of who’s going to play and who’s not. We must focus on us first and over the next few days we’ll have a look at what their team is and try to analyze everyone then.”

Timani looks certain to get the chance to put his plans into practice on Saturday with fellow second rows Kane Douglas and Rob Simmons definite absentees due to injury and suspension.

Douglas has been ruled out with a knee problem, while Simmons has been banned for eight weeks for a spear tackle on France flanker Yannick Nyanga.

Running out in the centre of the action at Twickenham will be a little different from his sporting action last weekend when he was among a group of Wallaby players who headed to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea take on Liverpool in a different shaped ball game.

Timani played soccer growing up in his native Tonga and only really converted to rugby full time when he won a scholarship to a New Zealand high school prior to moving to Australia at the age of 19.

Now standing 6ft 8in, the 26- year-old must have cut a pretty imposing figure in his early days as a goalkeeper but he’ll no doubt be hoping that the Wallabies don’t follow the same path cut by his Chelsea heroes who let a one goal lead slip on Sunday.

“My village in Tonga only plays soccer, they don’t play rugby. I only started playing rugby really when I went to high school,” added Timani, who has long been a Chelsea fan.

“Playing Fifa at home I saw a lot of Didier Drogba and he became my favourite player.

“We caught the early train to go down and watch the game after Paris. It was a different experience for me.

“I thought Chelsea were going to win the game as they had a few opportunities to score but they came up short in the end.”

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