Planet Rugby

McKenzie wants consistency

17th October 2013 15:49

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Ewen McKenzie

Ewen McKenzie: Time to 'step up'

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie wants his side to replicate the dazzling form that saw them hammer Argentina in Rosario a fortnight ago.

The Wallabies line up in Dunedin on Saturday to face New Zealand in the third and final Bledisloe Cup fixture, and McKenzie has urged his players to scale the same heights that led to a thumping 54-17 victory over their Argentine counterparts.

"It was pleasing to see us take a step in the right direction against Argentina, but the test for us now is to produce that form week-in and week-out," he said.

"At this level you need to back up, play consistently and find solutions to win every game, which has been a large focus for us heading into this match."

There are four changes to the Australian side that defeated the Pumas two weeks ago, with injuries forcing Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane, Scott Fardy and Chris Feauai-Sautia to miss out.

Into the backline comes Peter Betham, making his debut on the wing, and Matt Toomua at inside centre.

Ben McCalman comes in at number eight for the stricken Fardy, with Ben Mowen moving to the blindside flank.

Inspirational scrum-half Will Genia wins his fiftieth cap, becoming only the third Wallaby nine to reach that milestone.

Elsewhere, Dave Dennis and Mike Harris win places on the bench.

The Wallabies have endured a disappointing season, with the series loss to the British and Irish Lions followed by a poor Rugby Championship campaign.

McKenzie, despite the Bledisloe Cup having already been clinched by the Kiwis, maintains his squad are savouring the chance to take on the world champions again.

"The All Blacks are the most consistent team in world rugby and their record proves just how formidable they are when playing at home in front of their fans," he said.

"History indicates that playing the All Blacks is a significant challenge, but you want to be measuring yourself against the best-performing teams in the world and we are very much looking forward to that on Saturday."

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