SYDNEY, Australia – World Cup-winning Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer says Australia have been hamstrung by absent personnel in the series against England but has backed the next generation of internationals to fill the void in the long-term.
The Wallabies head into Saturday’s third Test in Sydney two-nil down in the series into England. It is a result that has stunned Australian rugby. Dwyer expected Australia to see off Eddie Jones’ England on home soil but says their strength in depth has been found wanting.
Talking to ESPN, Dwyer said that the absence of the likes of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Matt Giteau should not be used as an excuse for the series defeat, adding that England have simply been the “better team”.
England came to Australia as underdogs to take the series but the Wallabies failed to find the same ruthless form that saw them through to the final of last year’s Rugby World Cup.
“Australia’s team has changed markedly from the World Cup,” Dwyer told ESPN. “They have as many as eight players missing from their best team in the World Cup.
“Kane Douglas has been out, then there’s been Rob Simmons, who missed a Test, as did David Pocock. Matt Toomua didn’t play in the first two while Kurtley Beale’s missed the series as have Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper. The same goes for Joe Tomane and Henry Speight.
“Sekope Kepu is only just back and Tatafu Polota-Nau is back after a while out. That’s contributed to their defeat but before the series, we all thought Australia would be fine, we’d adjust to those things and the players coming in would compensate for those not there. In reality, that hasn’t been the case at all.”
Despite having that huge amount of experience unavailable, Dwyer sees hope for the future and says the emergence of some of the new capped players gives Australia reason to believe they will be back to their best by the turn of the year.
“Australia should be concerned about the result of the series, definitely,” Dwyer said. “They should be concerned about the result of every game. But I think we have a lot of next-generation players who aren’t far away and will start touring in a few months.
“Rory Arnold’s one, Samu Kerevi and Luke Morahan are others. There are a few players who will become part of the next generation.
“We’re not badly placed. We’ve lost quite a few players to Europe and we’ve managed to lure a couple back and a few more are still there but that has made a few holes in positions. But we’re pretty well off and my take is that by the end of the year we’ll be right.”
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/16478347/wallabies-missed-key-players-seris-defeat-england-says-former-australia-coach-bob-dwyer
Dwyer: Wallabies have missed key players
ESPN.com – RUGBY