Wallabies great Tim Horan believes Australia is “not far off” where they need to be to challenge the best in the world.
Australia have endured a tricky Test season, including their worst loss to Argentina and their first defeat to Italy. The pressure was well and truly on head coach Dave Rennie going into their final round Autumn Nations Series clash against Wales.
Rennie’s men ran both France and Ireland close and were unlucky not to get a result in either match. Horan insists the team are close but a terrible string of injuries hampered the Wallabies’ progress in 2022.
“When you look at the way the Wallabies probably should’ve beaten France in Paris, a little bit unlucky in Dublin against Ireland. We’re getting close, we’re not far off but in some respects we are,” Horan told the Platform.
“Think we just need to have a good look at especially the injuries that the Wallabies have had, they’ve used 50-plus players this year.
“Some key injuries. You look at Samu Kerevi, Quade Cooper, Rob Valetini in the last Test match, so some really big names that have been out.
“I think it’s a good time to test those younger players, try and create some depth 10 months out from a Rugby World Cup because you’re going to pick up some injuries through Super Rugby and there will be some key players out.
“At the moment the Wallabies (are) probably struggling a little bit to work out who’s their best number 15, who’s their best number 10, and a couple of other positions as well. But I think it’s tracking okay.”
Where are the injuries coming from?
Horan insists the Wallabies need to search for reasons why there are so many injuries in the camp and perhaps make some adjustments.
“One thing he probably does have to review is why all these injuries are happening to the Wallabies,” he said.
“Some of them are just unlucky, some of them are through contact, but three or four Achilles (injures), a couple of ACLs for key members.
“You probably just need to look at the review and go ‘okay how’s our strength and conditioning program? Why is this happening? Is it just unlucky?’
“Other teams are getting injuries as well but not as many as the Wallabies at the moment.”