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We'll respond to wake-up call: Stander

 

CJ Stander
CJ Stander

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

CJ Stander believes Ireland were in need of a wake-up call at the end of their unbeaten season.

And the Munster ace is expecting a response from the Grand Slam winners as they look to level the Test series against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday.

He says significant improvements are needed against a Wallabies side who put the tourists under severe pressure in the Brisbane opener last weekend.

But, having received the shock of a first defeat in 13 matches, the No.8 is determined to turn things around.

"We've had a great campaign and we're not used to losing, so maybe it's something we needed," said Stander.

"It would be great to end the series with a win and go on holiday with that, but we need to be a lot better to get there.

"It's something (losing) we haven't felt in a long time. At some stages we weren't as sharp as we wanted to be. Australia took their chances and converted them into points, we didn't.

"We know we can fix the small things and when we fix them we can get to the level we were at in the Six Nations."

Joe Schmidt is expected to make changes, with Keith Earls the sole injury doubt.

Johnny Sexton is likely to lead the backline, with Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy tipped to come back into the front-row, and Dan Leavy and Garry Ringrose are also in contention.

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