Will Genia puts onus on backline to step up
Acting Wallabies captain Will Genia wants his backline to adopt a more attacking attitude and cast off the passivity they showed against New Zealand last week.
Genia was handed the responsibility of leading Australia against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday after David Pocock was ruled out with a knee injury.
Genia, who captained Australia once before in a win over the United States in last year's World Cup, made it clear the Wallabies were determined to improve on their poor performance against the All Blacks last Saturday.
''I think that's the biggest thing about this week, we're going to be hard on ourselves and not look for the soft options,'' Genia said.
''We'll go away and work on the things we need to work on and really get the mindset right leading into this game.''
Genia wanted his backs to be more assertive than in the match in Sydney, where they rarely threatened the All Blacks line.
''I think we can look to be a little bit more attacking with ball in hand as a backline,'' Genia said.
''I think we were a little bit passive and probably relied a little bit too much on the forwards to shoulder a lot of the work.
''So if we can get the ball in the backs' hands a little bit more and have a little bit more thrust, I think that will stand us in good stead.''
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said Genia responded to responsibility and had no doubt he would do so again on Saturday.
''He's a bloke that others respond to, to that end, he's always been a big source of ignition in our group and our game,'' Deans said of Genia.
''I guess he'll have a greater presence off the field now as well in terms of dialogue.''
Genia, who has also led Queensland in James Horwill's absence, said he planned on leading by deeds rather than words.
He described Pocock's absence as a massive loss, but said it gave young openside flankers Michael Hooper and Liam Gill a chance.