Can the Wallabies turn around a patchy 2013 season by winning a Grand Slam Tour with Northern Hemisphere victories against England, Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales? This Autumn International tour is a true litmus test for the Wallabies under their new coach Ewen McKenzie. They are ranked fourth in the world in the latest IRB rankings and despite looking impressive on attack in the final two games of the season against Argentina and the All Blacks, they have struggled to form a settled side.
The Wallabies need to work on their defence since they have conceded 28 tries so far in 2013.
Can The Wallabies Win A Grand Slam This Autumn International Tour?
Ewen McKenzie really needs to put his complete faith in Quade Cooper and his midfield combination and give them test matches together to build cohesion. Will Genia must start at halfback inside Quade Cooper, while it seems that Cooper really flourished inside Matt Toomua, although Christian Lealiifano is a quality Number 12 too. I think with the threat of Israel Folau at fullback behind the previously mentioned players that they have genuinely threatening attacking players capable of scoring tries, if they can just stop conceding them.
In the forwards, it will be interesting to see how they combat the big Northern Hemisphere packs at scrum time. They seem to have the weakest pack out of most of the top teams, but if they can somehow fix this part of their game then their chances will improve.
James Horwill has had a patchy season through injury, so it will be interesting to see how he goes.
This tour will provide the Wallabies with a chance to improve their combinations, but they won’t want this to come at the expense of victories.
While the Wallabies would love five victories from five matches on this Autumn International tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped their opening game to England given the magnitude of it being ten years since their Rugby World Cup final in 2003. They may also struggle to beat Wales, although that should make for an entertaining match. Given the length of the tour and year, along with the mounting injury toll then the Wallabies will have their depth tested. I am picking them to have two losses.
What outcome are you expecting for the Wallabies in their Autumn International Tour?