The Leinster centre, ahead of his 32nd Test match as skipper, said: "Australia are an amazingly clever team. They're different from any other team you're likely to play. Sometimes, you feel they're on the rack and all of a sudden the game goes out of control.
"Once we broke the South African lines, the spaces opened up for us. Against the Wallabies you can never be sure the same thing will happen - because they often just appear to be tempting the opposition into space knowing that they have the resources to cover them.
"It can become extremely frustrating to play an attacking role against them, but then again that's the challenge - another challenge for this Irish team."
Munster hooker Frankie Sheahan fires a pass out at training. The 30-year-old's appearance as a replacement against South Africa last weekend was his 25th cap and first since the second Test win over Japan in June 2005. He missed the majority of last season with a serious neck injury.
With Paddy Wallace amongst a number of players in the current Irish squad who have played in the UCD-Trinity Colours match, perhaps a few of them will be Donnybrook-bound this Friday to take in the 2006 Colours match?
Donncha O'Callaghan and Gordon D'Arcy go through some stretches in rain-hit Bray. In the aftermath of last week's win over the Springboks, Wexford man D'Arcy revealed Ireland's lofty targets for 2007. "We want to keep getting better and better. We want to gain momentum and we want to win the World Cup," he surmised.
Llanelli Scarlets captain Simon Easterby will be hoping to regain his spot in the Irish back row for the final Guinness Autumn Test against the Pacific Islands on Sunday week. Ulster's Neil Best has been keeping the Harrogate-born flanker out of the starting XV after impressing on the summer tour - Easterby missed those three games due to a series of head injuries.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan summed up the Easterby-Best blindside battle by saying: "You can see from past selections that I'm a big fan of Simon Easterby. It was a toss of a coin between the two (against South Africa). But, if you look at the form, Neil did very well on the summer tour (to New Zealand and Australia) and he's continued that form this season.
"When it comes down to a very tight call, the guy who's holding the position will probably get the nod."
Ulster prop Bryan Young watches on as Ronan O'Gara talks to his team-mates during a training ground huddle. The versatile Young, who can play on the loosehead or tighthead side of the scrum, has been given a chance to impress the Irish management from the off on the Sunday.
Eddie O'Sullivan said of the Ballymena clubman: "Looking at the possibilities in the front row, he's one to look at. I was going to have to put Bryan in there at some point in the season. I wouldn't underestimate the Australian scrum at all - we got hoovered off the ball when we played them in Perth this year and lost our concentration - but it's time for Bryan to step up to the plate, start a Test game and see how it goes.
"He is well able for this and we do need to explore our possibilities. It wasn't too long ago he wasn't marked at all, but he has done very well for Ulster. It's a good opportunity for him."
Andrew Trimble stretches out the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the Australia game. The Ulster flyer sustained a knock on the top of his knee during the summer and it has led to hamstring fatigue.
Eddie O'Sullivan conceded: "Andrew could have actually played (against Australia) if we wanted him to. The problem is that his hamstring is tightening up. This hamstring issue seems to be ongoing for Andrew and I want to try to resolve it this week."
David Wallace wears some supports to protect the ankle injury that flared up on him last week. The Munster flanker, who made his Ireland debut against Argentina in 2000, has played just once previously against Australia, although he did tour the country with the Lions in 2001.
Wallace donned the number 7 jersey for Ireland's 37-15 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth last June, starting the game with George Smith as his direct opponent and finishing it against Phil Waugh, who will start for John Connolly's visitors on Sunday.
**All photos by Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**
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