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Australia

  • Sharpe,
    Penalty goals: Barnes (4),
    Conversions: Barnes,
19 - 27

New Zealand

  • Jane, Dagg,
    Penalty goals: Carter (5),
    Conversions: Carter,

Australia v New Zealand: Teams

At ANZ Stadium, Saturday August 18, KO: 11.05am (BST), live on Sky Sports 3HD

Last updated: 17th August 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sam Whitelock left and Keven Mealamu New Zealand training

Sam Whitelock (left) and Keven Mealamu: preparing to front up in Sydney

Digby Ioane Australia training in Sydney

Digby Ioane: winging in for the Wallabies

I don't know if it will be that hostile. There's a lot of Kiwis living over here now - and Robbie's picking half of them already. There are plenty of Kiwis in Sydney so we like coming here - it's a good place.

Steve Hansen
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Australia coach Robbie Deans is intent on ending his side's near-decade wait to win the Bledisloe Cup when the inaugural Rugby Championship begins in Sydney on Saturday.

The Wallabies will host New Zealand to kick off the tournament - which has welcomed Argentina in addition to South Africa this year - with the first of three trans-Tasman clashes.

The All Blacks have dominated the rivalry of late, winning the past nine Bledisloe Cups, but New Zealander Deans is determined to end that run.

"Clearly it's time. It's pretty straight forward really. It's far too long," Deans said.

"But we're getting it done, the boys have worked hard, we understand that the All Blacks won't let go lightly. That's the nature of the way they push their work.

"This group I can assure you is really looking forward to kick-off."

Fishing

Deans has also had to endure the barbs of new All Blacks coach Steve Hansen in the build-up to the match at ANZ Stadium.

Hansen, who fell out with Deans following their time together at Super 15 franchise the Crusaders, cheekily claimed Australia's crowds were far from hostile - because they were full of Kiwis.

The 53-year-old also hinted the Wallabies relied on players born across the ditch, although recently returned fly-half Quade Cooper has been left out of the home squad.

"I don't know if it will be that hostile," Hansen said. "There's a lot of Kiwis living over here now - and Robbie's picking half of them already. There are plenty of Kiwis in Sydney so we like coming here - it's a good place."

Deans would not be drawn into a war of words, replying: "Steve is a very good fisherman. He loves fishing."

New Zealand beat Australia 20-6 in the World Cup semi-final last year when they were without injured playmaker Dan Carter.

The 30-year-old is back in the fold and, with Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams immediately outside him for the first time, he is relishing the prospect of unleashing a fearsome attacking threat on the hosts.

Challenge

"It was pretty frustrating what happened last year and obviously I'm pretty keen to make the most of this opportunity," Carter said.

"And to be over here in Sydney and playing against a strong Wallabies side is a great challenge.

"It's not bad looking outside and seeing the likes of Sonny Bill and Ma'a, a couple of absolutely huge human beings. Hopefully we'll get some front football and be able to use them going forward."

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia; 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock (capt), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Drew Mitchell

New Zealand: 15 Isreal Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Reed, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Replacements:16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith

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Forthcoming Rugby Champion'p Fixtures
TimeFixture
Rugby Champion'p
Saturday 16th August
Rugby Championship
11:05Australia vs New Zealand
16:05South Africa vs Argentina
Saturday 23rd August
08:35New Zealand vs Australia
20:10Argentina vs South Africa
Saturday 6th September
08:35New Zealand vs Argentina
11:05Australia vs South Africa
Saturday 13th September
08:35New Zealand vs South Africa
11:05Australia vs Argentina
Saturday 27th September
16:05South Africa vs Australia
23:10Argentina vs New Zealand
Saturday 4th October
16:05South Africa vs New Zealand
23:40Argentina vs Australia

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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