31 Aug 2009

Deans calm despite looming Wallabies whitewash

8:05 am on 31 August 2009

The Australian rugby coach Robbie Deans, staring at a Tri-Nations whitewash after losing 32-25 to South Africa at Perth, says he won't make mass changes in order to protect his rebuilding team.

The Wallabies' fourth straight loss leaves them vulnerable to a winless series with two Tests left.

Deans looks set to make some adjustments to the outfit smashed by a four-try Springbok onslaught at Subiaco Oval but fears that tampering too much could damage his inexperienced players.

Queensland halfback Will Genia looks set to replace the erratic Luke Burgess while Berrick Barnes is fit after a concussion and could slot back in at first five-eighth, moving Matt Giteau to second five.

Giteau looked far more effective when he moved to his original No.12 position late in the game as Quade Cooper made a big impact at No.10 for the Wallabies to score two late consolation tries before straining a medial ligament.

Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe is expected to be fit after his shoulder injury but is no certainty to return after a solid comeback by Mark Chisholm.