Decent crowd in as expected. though there’s plenty of gaps in the expensive seats. John Eales reckons the Wallabies can gain parity in the scrums and dominate in the lineouts. Running slightly behind schedule. Anthems being sung.
Welcome to the live blog of the Wallabies v All Blacks Test.
Preamble: The Bledisloe Cup returns to Sydney tonight for the first time since September 2010. The All Blacks are short-priced favourites in a fixture that also doubles as the opening match of the Rugby Championship (the Springboks and Pumas clash five hours later in Cape Town). New Zealand are missing Brad Thorn, Jerome Kaino and Conrad Smith from their World Cup-winning side, while Australia’s casualty list includes James Horwill, Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, James O’Connor and Pat McCabe.
Inevitably, Quade Cooper's absence from the squad has been a talking point; so too Sonny Bill Williams's name on the teamsheet at No.12, pushing his giant centre partner Ma'a Nonu wider. Rather than dwell on the size of the All Blacks midfield, the Wallabies may sense an opportunity. It's all about flooding inside channels and exploiting lapses in defensive alignment. That's the hopeful version. Rob Horne and Anthony Fainga'a have a big night ahead.
Wallabies: Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Anthony Fainga'a, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes, Will Genia; Scott Higginbotham, David Pocock (c), Dave Dennis, Nathan Sharpe, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.
New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea Gear, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (c), Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock.
Referee: Alain Rolland
History: All Blacks 115, Wallabies 47, Draw
Last meeting: New Zealand 20-6 Australia
TABsportsbet: $ 3.20 Wallabies, $1.36 All Blacks