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Aussies ready for Kiwi challenge

Australia will complete their final preparations for Saturday's one-off Test against New Zealand with a session under lights at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday night.
Aussies ready for Kiwi challenge
by NRL

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Oct 12 AAP - Australia will complete their final preparations for Saturday's one-off Test against New Zealand with a session under lights at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday night.

Temperatures have reached the 30s this week in Townsville, but Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens believes the conditions have not been as clammy in the evening and won't have too much affect on how the game is played.

"We normally try and do the captain's run around game time," Sheens said.

"We've worked hard this week in the heat so we will use (Friday) to prepare as we would on game day.

"The last few nights when we've been out for dinner the conditions have been pretty good. It's not as if we are playing at 10am so I'm very comfortable that we will handle it."

There had been speculation this week that giant back-rower Tony Williams was struggling with a hamstring injury and could miss the game, with Brisbane's Ben Te'o in line to make his international debut.

However, Sheens said the Canterbury-bound star will play.

"He has trained all week and the physios tell me he is fine and will be fit for the game," he said.

Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith said Saturday's clash is important ahead of next year's World Cup in Europe, with only one Test taking place before next October's tournament.

The hooker, who'll be 30 when Australia face England in the opening game in Cardiff, laughed off claims the team are getting too old.

"I had a bit of a chuckle when I heard about it because I've looked 40 for about 10 years," Smith said.

"There are always going to people who question your ability or your age, but I feel good and feel like I am a young guy and the boys that are getting on a bit feel young as well.

"As long as Sheensy feels I am playing good enough football, and the other old boys are playing good enough football, he'll be happy with that."

Kiwi captain Benji Marshall expects halfback Kieran Foran to be given a hostile welcome from the local supporters after his controversial knock-on in the lead up to a try for Manly against North Queensland in the NRL semi-finals.

"I think Kieran was the only one who was copping it when we did a few school visits this week," Marshall said.

"But he is a professional, he deals with most things, and I hear there are a few Kiwis turning up here as well to support us."


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