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McKenzie could rest top Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup

McKenzie is tieing up loose ends with the Reds after they were eliminated

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Article Published: Tuesday 23 July 2013

Newly appointed Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie says that some of Australia's best players could be rested for their opening Rugby Championship/ Bledisloe Cup opener against New Zealand's All Blacks.

New Zealand have held the Bledisloe Cup for the last eleven years and McKenzie has suggested that only 100% healthy players could be fielded in the first clash which could cost the Wallabies the chance of winning the Cup back.

McKenzie says that some of the more regular Wallabies could be best served by missing the back-to-back Bledisloe Tests against the All Blacks so that they get over some long term injuries.

Resting regular Test starters could have the added benefit of allowing uncapped players to show what they can do at international level.

McKenzie was appointed earlier this month and has just over two years to prepare for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Many expect McKenzie to have a team filled with Reds players but he has hinted that his first line up could have a mix of players from across all five Super Rugby provinces.

"Some players have been carrying injuries for a long time," he told AAP.

"The mind is always willing and the heart is willing, but the body has to be co-operating.

"We need to be mindful of that and we don't want to get into the situation where `this bloke 70 per cent fit is better than this other bloke'.

"You have to pick players who are fit and raring to go.

"By doing that you create depth, you create competition, you create trust and all those things can add up."

Australia have a number of high profile injuries in the forwards and will be without David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sitaleki Timani.

McKenzie feels that they have enough depth as well and skill to be able to upset New Zealand but says after the loss to the Lions all Wallabies positions need to be reviewed.

"We're coming off a loss basically so we have to sit back and have a look," he said.

"With respect to everyone out there it's good we review each position and the candidates."

Rugby Championship Standings
Nation Games Points    
1. Australia 3 3 0 0 85 48 37 1 13
2. New Zealand 3 2 1 0 85 65 20 1 9
3. Argentina 3 1 2 0 64 98 -34 1 5
4. South Africa 3 0 3 0 65 88 -23 2 2
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