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Deans sees improvement in scrum

Australia coach Robbie Deans believes his side's improved scrummaging will stand them in good stead ahead of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup-Tri Nations match with New Zealand at Eden Park.

Australia have placed great emphasis on eradicating weaknesses in their scrum in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup and Deans feels it is now much stronger than it was.

"You look at the depth there now. A year ago, certainly two years ago, if we had lost a bloke like (prop) Benn Robinson it would have been the end of the world. But we have got others now who are pushing themselves forward and have made advancements, we believe, and it all comes down to Saturday," Deans said.

"Any occasion against the All Blacks is significant, to play them at Eden Park doubly so.

"Clearly there's going to be a lot of scrutiny and a lot of interest around this game but from a players' perspective it is like any other. It's 80 minutes long, the whistle will blow, they'll get on with it and it should be a great contest.

Deans does not feel the All Blacks' seven changes from the side which beat South Africa will make a lot of difference.

"They're the most experienced combination in the history of the game so it won't make a lot of difference in terms of what they will bring to the game," he said.

"You expect the best and I have no doubt that is what we will encounter this weekend."


From Belfast Telegraph