Wallabies turn to hardman Swinton with All Blacks on cusp of Cup victory

Auckland (AFP) –


The Wallabies have called up hardman Lachie Swinton as they take an aggressive approach to their make-or-break Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday.

Australia's talk of "in their face" rugby has not gone unnoticed by New Zealand, already one-up in the three-match series and bidding to retain the prized trophy for a 19th consecutive year.

"Clearly they're going to try and be more aggressive," All Blacks coach Ian Foster said as both camps named their Test sides on Thursday.

"We're going to get a more committed Australia team and we need to make sure we're matching fire with fire."

Neither the All Blacks nor the Wallabies were happy with their performance in the first Test last week, where New Zealand's 33-25 victory was built on a burst of three tries early in the second half.

Foster has kept faith in that side, making only one injury-enforced change which sees flyer Will Jordan, with nine tries from five Tests, coming on to the wing while Rieko Ioane moves to centre replacing Anton Lienert-Brown.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie made four changes, saying he wanted to put "steel" into the Australians and while his side respected the All Blacks "we don't fear them".

Blockbusting wing Marika Koroibete is back after being omitted from the first Test for breaching team protocols around drinking, Matt To'omua adds experience at inside centre, while Swinton and lock Matt Philip beef up the forwards.

When Swinton was selected for his maiden Test last year, also against the All Blacks, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper talked of his reputation for "bringing a real aggression" to the game.

"That's what he's been picked for," Hooper said.

Swinton only lasted 35 minutes before a high shot on All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock saw him sent for an early shower.

Rennie has marked the breakdown as crucial to controlling the Test.

"You've got to be able to get in their face, and with Swinno coming in and Matt (Philip) coming in it gives us more of an edge," he said, adding he had no concerns around Swinton's disciplinary record.

"He's physical, we know that, he's got a reputation as being reckless, but that's far from the case," he said, noting the red card against the All Blacks, another for fighting in a club match and a third in Super Rugby which was quashed on review.

"So we don't have an issue. He'll certainly bring an edge and that's important for us."

The Wallabies took heart from their spectacular finish in the first Test with three tries in the final 12 minutes and pondered what might have been if Noah Lolesio had avoided a wayward night with the boot, where he missed five of seven shots at goal.

But while they can be expected to improve, so too will the All Blacks, who have focused this week on eliminating penalties -- they conceded 18 in the first Test -- and not switching off when they have a sizeable lead.

Going into the final quarter, the All Blacks were up 33-8 which underlined how dominant they were when their game clicked.

"While a lot has been said about the things that didn't go well, there were a lot of things that did go well and we've go to make sure we enhance those opportunities again," Foster said.

"We want to win it."

Teams (15-1)

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Sevu Reece; Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane; Sam Whitelock (capt), Brodie Retallick; Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, George Bower

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Karl Tu'inikuafe, Angus Ta'avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett.

Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Hunter Paisami, Matt To'omua, Marika Koroibete; Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott; Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (capt), Lachlan Swinton; Matt Philip, Darcy Swain; Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper

Replacements: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Harry Wilson, Nic White, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge