McKenzie pins faith in same Wallabies side


Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

Ewen McKenzie has named an unchanged line-up for the first time in his 17-Test coaching reign, convinced that the Wallabies at last have the All Blacks' measure.

Renowned for tinkering, McKenzie on Tuesday resisted calls to reinstate Bernard Foley at five-eighth in favour of Kurtley Beale for the Bledisloe Cup return bout in Auckland on Saturday.

Confident that better cohesion and communication is the answer, not new personnel, McKenzie is pinning his faith in the entire 23-man squad from the series-opening 12-12 draw in Sydney as the Wallabies bid to break their 28-year winless run at Eden Park.

Beale had an influential game in the First Test, kicking all of Australia's points, and the coach is backing the mercurial five-eighth to continue sparking the Wallabies' attack in more favourable conditions this weekend.

"We've got the right group of guys and I think they'll be better for the experience, so that's why we didn't change anything," McKenzie said.

"We were impressed with the pressure we were able to apply in the opening Test and, despite some errors, were pleased with the intent of the group to continue attacking despite the poor weather conditions.

"We still carried the ball and endeavoured to play, and the errors we made weren't necessarily handling errors.

"They were more like running into touch, getting knocked in touch, bumping into each other, things like that.

"So we can fix up that."

McKenzie, though, made it clear that loyalty is a two-way street.

"Clearly there's pressure," he said.

"We've got two games and now we've got to win two, so that's a pretty difficult equation.

"So we're backing the guys to do the business - but they understand that they have to deliver too. That's how it works."

After the Sydney stalemate thwarted New Zealand's quest for a record 18th consecutive Test win, the Wallabies's next challenge is to avoid a 15th loss in a row to the world champions at Eden Park. AAP


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