Click here for photos of the Australian squad’s training session at Perry Lakes in Perth on Monday.
Pictured above: Australian head coach John Connolly and his assistant Scott Johnson, who acted as caretaker coach for Wales during the recent RBS 6 Nations, watch the Wallabies go through their paces at Rugby Park in Perry Lakes.
Queenslander Connolly was appointed as head coach in February and guided Australia to an impressive brace of victories over England in recent weeks.
Australian scrum half George Gregan, who is now out on his own as the world’s most-capped player, floats a pass out at training on Monday. Gregan, 33, took the record from legendary England prop Jason Leonard when he earned his 120th cap for the Wallabies against England last Saturday.
A fixture in the Brumbies side since 1996, Gregan has played eight times against Ireland during his 12-year Test career. He captained the Wallabies against the Irish in 2002, 2003 (twice) and 2005.
Stephen Larkham in action – the 32-year-old Brumbies out-half, who scored a try in the 43-18 defeat of England last weekend, has failed to score against Ireland in three previous appearances. A shoulder injury saw him miss the Wallabies’ 30-14 victory over Ireland in Dublin last November.
Centre Stirling Mortlock, who captained the Brumbies for the third season in the recently finished Super 14 competition. His kicking success rate during the Super 14 campaign came to 78%. The 29-year-old took on the kicking mantle with aplomb for the two Tests against England, scoring 19 and 13 points with his right boot respectively.
The 23-year-old Mark Gerrard on the attack in training. The Brumbies winger has scored three tries in his last two Test outings, including a brace last weekend against England in Melbourne.
Flanker George Smith, another of the Brumbies contingent, runs through a drill in Perth.
Queensland Reds full-back Chris Latham, who will be a marked man on Saturday as he has scored three tries in his last three appearances against Ireland, is expecting to face a stiffer challenge from the men in green than England posed.
“Ireland are going to be a bigger challenge to us across the board. They are going to be a lot more physical, and will bring the game to us. Defensively we will have to be a lot better, and we will not be able to give them much ball on turnovers,” said the 30-year-old.
NSW Waratahs flanker/lock Rocky Elsom leaps for a lineout ball at Perry Lakes. Away from rugby, the 23-year-old owns a clothing label in a partnership with his brother Sam.
Lock Nathan Sharpe, who captained the Perth-based Western Force during their inaugural Super 14 campaign this year, in lineout action. The former Queensland Red was the only player to start in every Test match for the Wallabies in 2005 – his international caps tally currently stands at 43.
**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**