Australia add four to squad for All Blacks test

Australia coach Robbie Deans has called scrumhalf Luke Burgess, winger Lachie Turner as well as locks Dan...

EWN default image new logo

Australia coach Robbie Deans has called scrumhalf Luke Burgess, winger Lachie Turner as well as locks Dan Vickerman and Sitaleki Timani into his 24-man squad for Saturday's test against New Zealand in Auckland.

Halfback Nick Phipps and experienced second row forward Nathan Sharpe make way for the new arrivals for the match at Eden Park that Dean has described as a "litmus test".

Burgess has recovered from a hand fracture and is almost certain to be on the bench as replacement for Will Genia, who was man of the match in the 39-20 victory over South Africa in the Wallabies' opening match of the tournament.

Vickerman, who returned to Australia after three years studying in England, and Timani both featured in the shock loss to Samoa in their season opener.

Turner was impressive for his club side last weekend and gives Deans the option of some genuine pace in his backline.

Australia, hoping to prepare for the World Cup by winning the Tri-Nations for the first time since 2001, would be the first team to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park for 17 years should they prevail on Saturday.

Fullback Kurtley Beale, who along with Genia, flyhalf Quade Cooper and winger James O'Connor forms a quartet of talented young Wallaby backs, has recovered from ankle, shoulder and facial injuries sustained against the Springboks.

The Wallabies beat the All Blacks in their last meeting in Hong Kong at the end of last season and, with the Queensland Reds triumphant in Super rugby, go into Saturday's match full of confidence.

"There's certainly a lot of confidence with the boys, not too much cockiness but just confidence there that we know we have the ability to actually go out there and tear any team apart," Beale said.

"It's just a matter of getting our minds right and not being carried away with ourselves."

Deans will trim his squad by two and name his team for the match on Thursday. The same party will be supplemented by two further players before heading to Durban for the return match against the Springboks.