Wallabies looking to cash in

Getty Images     21 Jul 2010     Getty Images

Following an unconvincing performance in their last Test against Ireland, the Wallabies have been bolstered by the return from injury of front-line stars Will Genia, Nathan Sharpe and Benn Robinson, while James O'Connor has been swapped with Adam Ashley-Cooper from full-back to the wing.

But head coach Robbie Deans isn't relying on the influx of returning stars to see the Australians home, instead he pointed to an excitement within the playing group as a key indicator of the sides' readiness to elevate to Tri Nations standards.

"There's an air of excitement. This is an important game for us without a doubt, being our first," deans said on Tuesday.

"The boys have trained well and hard, the excitement level is good and we're looking forward to getting out there."

"We've got a great opportunity this weekend. It is important. We understand that, that's what we're chasing."

"These blokes do this by choice – they love it and they look forward to these occasions."

"They're aware that while things might not always go as they're planned, they're not afraid of it and they're looking forward to the challenge," said Deans.

Despite taking on the reigning World Cup and Tri Nations champions, the typically reserved Deans appeared to have gained a quiet confidence on the back of a strong two-week training camp, the return of experience to the pack and the continued development of up-and-comers such as Saia Faingaa.

But while satisfied with the preparation and processes within the Wallabies' camp, the Australian coach was anticipating a torrid struggle against a proud Springboks unit that he says will be hardened and hurting after two first up losses to New Zealand.

"We know they'll be grumpy and we know they'll be wanting a result."

"They've communicated themselves about the importance of away wins, and they're the incumbent champs."

"They hold the trophy currently and they won't be wanting to let that go."

"We're expecting the best from them," he said.

Another key figure within the Australian camp expecting an all-out onslaught from the 'Boks was Wallabies' first five-eighths Quade Cooper, who promised he wouldn't be forgetting his shoulder pads for the clash against the ever-physical South Africans.

After a red-hot Super 14 season for the Queensland Reds that included a number of stand-out performances against South African sides, Cooper will no doubt receive plenty of attention from the 'Boks throughout the contest, although the Wallabies pivot was taking no backward steps.

"[The physical demands are] part of the game and something you have to get use to," Cooper said.

"If you go into it any different then you would any other game, you're not starting off right."

"You've got to get your head right coming into any sort of game that they're going to be running down your channel and just play footy," he said.