WELLINGTON: The All Blacks are expecting the Wallabies to bring a "physical" edge to their game under new coach Dave Rennie in Sunday's season-opening test in Wellington, the team said on Wednesday.
New Zealander Rennie is familiar to most in the All Blacks camp having coached the Waikato Chiefs to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012-13.
"I guess they’ll come here with a real physical mindset around the contact areas,” All Blacks assistant coach John Plumtree told reporters in Wellington.
"And they’ll probably play (with the ball) a lot – that’s one of Rennie’s basic principles of the game, really."
Australia have not won in New Zealand since 2001 but former coach Michael Cheika guided them to victory over the All Blacks in Perth last year when the visitors played with 14 men for the second half due to a red card to Scott Barrett.
All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor also expected the Wallabies to bring a northern hemisphere flavour, with Rennie poached from the Glasgow Warriors and other staff recruited from England.
"With (Rennie), he’s been with the Chiefs and Glasgow but he’s got a couple of other coaches behind him like the English attack coach (Scott Wisemantel) from last year,” Taylor said.
"I think they’ll want to bring in a good mix of the way they play rugby in the north and the way Rennie likes to play.
"(Our knowledge of Rennie) helps but there’s still a lot of question marks in terms of what they’ll bring."
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing Peter Rutherford)