The Bledisloe Cup series for 2023 will kick off this Saturday night in Melbourne.
The Wallabies will face a red-hot All Blacks team, following disappointing recent losses to Argentina and South Africa.
Wallaby coach Eddie Jones was surprised by the All Blacks form, saying in World Cup years they tended to start the year with a ‘measured build-up.’
‘We’ve got a lot of things to work out ourselves,’ said Jones on the Rugby Australia website.
‘We’re trying to work out our best game plan but New Zealand have approached this season a little bit differently than they normally would.
‘In a World Cup year, they tend to have a measured build up and it looks like they’re all guns firing at the moment.
‘Our aim is to put them under pressure early in the game and see how they cope with pressure on them, because they haven’t had it as yet.”
‘It’s a massive game, we’re looking forward to it. There’s nothing better than coaching against New Zealand.’
‘If you look at Australia at the moment, probably no one outside our immediate squad thinks we’ve got a chance of winning, which sometimes can drive a bit more closeness within the team, a bit more purpose about what we’re doing,’ he explained.
‘…In this situation we need to (embrace it) because we are the underdogs but generally speaking, we want to be a team that can cope with any sort of tag that gets put on the team, whether it be favourites or underdogs.
‘You just don’t want to be a team that fronts up when you’re underdogs.
‘In this situation this week, where we’re massive underdogs. That creates an opportunity for us because we know if we can put pressure on a team that’s labelled as red hot favourites, sometimes that pressure can turn into increased pressure on them and stress within their team and that’s our aim.’
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The Wallabies are currently in camp on the Gold Coast.
Wallabies Bledisloe Cup Squad
- Allan Alaalatoa (29, ACT Brumbies, 66 Tests)
- Richie Arnold (33, Stade Toulousain, 2 Tests)
- Angus Bell (22, NSW Waratahs, 21 Tests)
- Pone Fa’amausili (26, Melbourne Rebels, 4 Tests)
- Matt Faessler (24, Queensland Reds, uncapped)
- Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, 10 Tests)
- Langi Gleeson (21, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests)
- Jed Holloway (30, NSW Waratahs, 11 Tests)
- Tom Hooper (22, ACT Brumbies, 1 Test)
- Rob Leota (26, Melbourne Rebels, 14 Tests)
- Fraser McReight (24, Queensland Reds, 11 Tests)
- Matt Philip (29, Melbourne Rebels, 28 Tests)
- David Porecki (30, NSW Waratahs, 12 Tests)
- Will Skelton (31, La Rochelle, 26 Tests)
- Blake Schoupp (23, ACT Brumbies, uncapped)
- James Slipper (co-captain) (34, ACT Brumbies, 129 Tests)
- Taniela Tupou (27, Queensland Reds, 47 Tests)
- Jordan Uelese (26, Melbourne Rebels, 17 Tests)
- Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, 32 Tests)
- Quade Cooper (35, Kintetsu Liners, 78 Tests)
- Lalakai Foketi (28, NSW Waratahs, 5 Tests)
- Carter Gordon (22, Melbourne Rebels, 2 Tests)
- Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, 21 Tests)
- Samu Kerevi (29, Urayasu D-Rocks, 43 Tests)
- Marika Koroibete (30, Saitama Wild Knights, 53 Tests)
- Ryan Lonergan (25, ACT Brumbies, uncapped)
- Tate McDermott (24, Queensland Reds, 23 Tests)
- Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, 4 Tests)
- Izaia Perese (26, NSW Waratahs, 3 Tests)
- Jordan Petaia (23, Queensland Reds, 25 Tests)
- Suliasi Vunivalu (27, Queensland Reds, 2 Tests)
- Nic White (33, ACT Brumbies, 61 Tests)
- Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, 2 Tests)
- Dylan Pietsch (25, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)