Kepu out to trump NZ
Australia prop and former New Zealand junior international Sekope Kepu believes the winner of Saturday's Tri Nations showdown with the All Blacks in Brisbane will take a psychological edge into this year's World Cup.
Playing against his former country for the first time in Australia's recent 16-point loss in Auckland, Kepu was part of a scrum that provided one of the few areas in which the Wallabies could match their trans-Tasman rivals.
"There's a lot on the line. Obviously a Tri Nations title, but also the psychological edge of going into the World Cup as the winners. I think it's a massive boost," said Kepu.
Since failing to compete with the All Blacks' physicality at Eden Park, the Wallabies have altered their preparations accordingly.
The elevation to the starting side of twin towers Dan Vickerman and Radike Samo - who caused half-back Will Genia to require six stitches in a training accident on Tuesday - shows coach Robbie Deans has zeroed in on the need to match firepower.
"We've added some size this week with Dan Vickerman coming in. [Vickerman and Samo] are really good aggressive players and that's something really that we're looking to build into," said Kepu.
"I think they'll add some more dimensions out the back there; a bit of x-factor and size - it'll be good.
"In terms of the training, the physicality is massive and something we have to bring to the game. The boys are really serious and really looking forward to the challenge."