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Rugby union Sport

Wallabies fitness questioned by All Blacks great ahead of second Test

  • Jeff Wilson suggests over-training for drop-off
  • Second Bledisloe takes place in Auckland on Saturday

The fitness level of Australia’s players is being questioned for a second straight year as they struggle to keep pace with New Zealand.

Former All Blacks great Jeff Wilson believes the Wallabies had either over-trained heading into last week’s 38-13 loss in Sydney or are simply unfit. He could not otherwise explain their dramatic drop-off after leading 6-0 until the 39th minute. The world champions were simply at another level from that point.

“Either they’ve trained too hard and they’ve gone into the game fatigued and the legs have gone early, or they’re not in the right nick,” Wilson told the Sky Sports Breakdown show. “They’ve had plenty of time to prepare, they’ve had the benefit of time. The All Blacks have had one week, essentially, on the back of a Super Rugby campaign.”

Wilson believes New Zealand’s detailed player management programme – at Test and Super Rugby level – prevents fatigue from setting in. Australia’s fitness came under the spotlight last year when coach Michael Cheika asked his players to run up steep hills with their mouths taped shut. He explained Australian players needed to be fitter across the board, starting with Super Rugby.

Wilson cannot see the Wallabies threatening to end their 17-match losing streak at Eden Park on Saturday. They were second-best in too many areas in Sydney to make up, he said. “The cracks in their game [are evident] particularly when your set piece falters. I just think they’ve got a long, long way to go if they are going to be competitive against this All Black team, given the fact their biggest attacking weapon, Israel Folau, is not available.”

This article was originally sourced from here.

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