Wallabies will have a go

New Qantas Wallabies boss Ewen McKenzie insists he'll be giving his players plenty of freedom as they look to bounce back from defeat to the British & Irish Lions. [more]

Wallabies will have a go

New Qantas Wallabies boss Ewen McKenzie insists he’ll be giving his players plenty of freedom as they look to bounce back from defeat to the British & Irish Lions.

McKenzie takes charge of the Wallabies for the first time when they face the All Blacks a week on Saturday in the opening match of the Rugby Championship.

The Bledisloe Cup encounter takes place at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, the same venue in which the Lions secured a 2-1 series success with a stunning 41-16 demolition of the Australians in Robbie Deans’ final game at the helm.

And while it was Britain and Ireland’s elite who played the more attacking rugby in that particular fixture, McKenzie wants his troops to be the ones seizing the initiative this time around.

"We're certainly not going to deny the players the opportunity to have a go," said McKenzie, who is currently working with his squad for the first time since being appointed last month.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"People are expected to use their skill and, if they can create an opportunity, then go for it. It's not about limiting people by structure.

"You don't want to dampen the whole thing and say ‘it's a Test match, you can't do anything – just kick to corners and let's keep it zero to zero’.

"If you see an opportunity, then you've got to be able to take it. And that's the Australian thing: you've got to have a bit of a go."

McKenzie won’t be over reacting to the disappointment of defeat to the Lions, however, with the former Reds boss claiming he sees no point in throwing the baby out with the bath water.

He intends to cut his 40-man training squad down to 30 on Friday but he won’t be asking his chosen few to reinvent the wheel against the world champions.

"You arrive at this time and it's not a matter of chucking everything out the window," added McKenzie.

"We've got a very good mix of the technical principles and also the attitudinal bit that you need and certainly some of the innovation that is synonymous with Wallaby rugby.

"You have to accept that there were things going on that were quite good and world class, so we'll only be interested in changing things where we think we can get a benefit. Then we'll look at tactically where are the opportunities against the All Blacks."

McKenzie has now finalised his backroom staff through to the 2015 World Cup after promoting his Reds assistant coach Jim McKay to the national set up.

McKay, who has worked under McKenzie for the past four seasons, will take charge of the Wallabies attack, with set-piece coach Andrew Blades and defence coach Nick Scrivener retained from the Deans era.

Previous story Best still to come from Faletau
Next story Corbisiero relishing battle with Mako
Download