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Rennie refusing to buy into England defeat

Mon, 20/06/2022, 6:39 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie spoke to media from the Sunshine Coast.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie believes England will look completely different to the side thumped by the Barbarians, excited about his side's shift in fitness and skill-set.

With the Premiership Final between Leicester and Saracens running concurrently, English coach Eddie Jones selected an understrength line-up as a French-dominant Baa-Baas ran away with the 52-21 victory.

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The result has increased the pressure on the visitors ahead of the three-Test series in July, with Jones to name his squad Monday evening.

Despite this, Rennie pointed to the Final thriller, in which both sides largely relied on their kicking game, as a better sign of what to expect on July 2 rather than the Twickenham defeat.

“I haven’t watched it. I’ve seen the score, but the squad they bring over will be no resemblance to that group," Rennie said on the England defeat.

"They had a lot of their key players playing on the weekend (in the English Premiership final). So once they name their squad I'll take a bit more interest.

“(The Final) was a bit of a kick-fest and not surprising…they may be an indicator to how England play.”

Rennie and the Wallabies have based themselves on the Sunshine Coast ahead of a stacked Test calendar, designed to maximise their preparations

With the entire squad in camp after the Brumbies' semi-final defeat nine days ago, Rennie was impressed with the intensity as growing competition and depth heightens the fight for positions.

“We’re certainly better conditioned as evidenced how we trained this morning. It was tough,” he believes.

“I definitely think there’s been a shift in skill set as we’ve witnessed at Super level, and we want to grow our game awareness and that’s going too.

“They are all key elements. I think we’ll have a very good set piece and that’s paramount at Test level.

"...We’ve certainly got more depth and we’ve already had discussions around what the 23 might look like (for the first Test). There’s good discussions around that and certainly a bit of depth in some key spots so how guys train and perform over the next X amount of days it will be important.”

One key area remains improving their tackle height, which hurt the Wallabies on several occasions in 2021.

Will Skelton, who remains on the Wallabies' radar for the Rugby Championship. found himself the first player in the Baa-Baas' 132-year history to get his marching orders on Sunday.

Rennie enters the International season expecting further incidents to occur given World Rugby's stance on the issue, putting a keen focus on their decision-making.

“It’s a focus of all teams but we’re certainly putting a lot of time into it, the quality of decision making, the quality of technique,” he added.

“The way it’s being refereed at the moment, there are going to be cards every game. We have to make sure we minimize those situations.”

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