13 Oct 2011

Prepare for a dogfight, says Sheens

7:09 am on 13 October 2011

The Australia coach Tim Sheens says the foundations have been laid for a physical encounter to rival a State of Origin atmosphere in Sunday's rugby league Test with New Zealand.

With both coaches opting to pick big bodies on the bench, and international referees more conservative when it comes to awarding penalties, Sheens has prepared his players to expect the toughest contest imaginable.

New Zealand mentor Stephen Kearney has gone with noted hard-heads Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Fuifui Moimoi and Sika Manu to form a ferocious bench alongside hard-hitting South Sydney hooker Issac Luke.

And Sheens didn't miss a beat either - picking in-form Manly monster Tony Williams, Wests Tigers enforcer Keith Galloway and 111kg Canberra prop David Shillington as the men to rip and tear off the bench.

The veteran Australian coach says it is a calculated decision from both coaches who realise the international game is played at a different pace - and under different rules - to regular NRL fixtures.