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Rugby boss details ‘comprehensive’ Wallabies review

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos says the spring tour was equally “satisfying” and “difficult to stomach and swallow” for the Wallabies.

The five-Test tour was a turbulent affair with matches decided by no more than five points.

The first of those saw the Wallabies get up by one point over Scotland. The second and third matches were also one point affairs with both going in favor of France and Italy.

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Another tight loss followed to the world’s best Ireland, who hung on by three points.

A win against Wales capped off the tour that was read with injuries throughout.

The loss to Italy was the toughest to take considering Australia has never lost to them previously.

The defeats to France and Ireland were agonizing encounters, having looked at times to have the edge.

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For Marinos, it was a case of what could have been had the scoreline gone a few points the other way.

“It was a tough tour, it was a challenging tour,” said the rugby boss.

“When you look at the loss against France and you look at the loss against Ireland, they’re difficult to stomach and swallow – but I think the team really performed and delivered and I think they shocked a lot of people in terms of the intensity at which we played.

“That French Test was, in particular for me, the attacking flair that we played that game really set down a marker. It was disappointing against Italy, I won’t hide from that.

“I think the change in the selections, we probably just lost the momentum. The biggest thing was just getting ourselves into a position where we can get that consistency and performance week in and week out.

“Whilst it’s getting better, I know that’s a big priority and focus for the team going forward into the World Cup next year.

“It was satisfying, the tour, but I think we’ll all come away from that knowing we could have come away with four or five wins, it was that close within two or three points all the way through.”

Outside of the constant and well-documented discipline issues, the Wallabies were plagued by injuries year-round.

The same was true in the spring tour, losing a litany of players that eventually saw third- and fourth-string players take to the field.

Marinos conceded there will be some serious digging into the sheer mass of bodies lost to injury.

“We’re going to do a pretty comprehensive review to understand that and get that information through,” Marinos explained.

“We’ve had a pretty unique run of some pretty innocuous or unusual injuries that haven’t necessarily involved any contact, they’ve just been freak incidents.

“There have been a number of soft tissue [injuries]. That’s just looking at our systems and our structures. We’re certainly going to get to the bottom of it.

“On the flip side of that, what we have seen is its given a lot of players, who wouldn’t have ordinarily got Test caps, and opportunity to play.

“We’ve certainly grown our depth in the squad through that, but I don’t think it’s the way we wanted to do it. We just had to make the best of the circumstances.”

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