Nick Phipps must rival influence of Conor Murray and other Wallabies v Ireland key battles

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The Wallabies face Ireland in the deciding game of their three-match series at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday (14:00 UAE time).

Ahead of the game, we take a look at three key battles.


Will Genia, no doubt, is a significant loss for the Wallabies due to an arm injury picked up in the second test, but his understudy Phipps can be just as lively and influential if provided with the right ball.

Although he lacks the same class and composure as Genia, the Waratahs man is just as creative and has the same razor-like passing ability to get his back line moving.

In what is a pivotal deciding match to the series, Phipps will need to be at his best against a player of Murray’s calibre.

Regarded as the best scrum-half in the world, there are few weaknesses evident in the Irishman’s game with crisp passing, unselfish decision-making, accurate box kicking and brilliant vision at the centre of his broad skillset.


Another humdinger of a duel.

The Fijian-born winger may not have enjoyed his finest night in a gold jersey last week, with Ireland scoring 13 points during his stint in the sinbin for an overeager tackle.

But the 25-year-old will be crucial to the wing battle this weekend with his pace, power and defensive strength all key to putting Michael Cheika’s side on the frontfoot.

It must be remembered that the former NRL star made 11 tackles in Brisbane, including a try-saving hit on Stockdale that, if scored, could have changed the dynamic of the game.

The Melbourne Rebels winger may have the edge in the physical and defensive battle, but Stockdale possesses the pace and finishing ability to put Ireland in command of any contest.

The 22-year-old, who has scored 11 tries in 10 matches, was one of Ireland’s leading lights during the Grand Slam triumph in March and will be key for the Men in Green as the bid to win their first series in the southern hemisphere since 1979.


The tough Tasmanian may have picked up a cheek injury early into the second half of the Melbourne test, but he looks fit, firing and ready for another duel with Ryan.

With nine tackles in the first 40 minutes, Coleman remains an instrumental presence at the heart of the Wallabies pack, with his strong carrying and passing all serious threats.

At 6’7, the line-out is his obvious key strength, but away from that he puts in a serious shift to get on the ball and put teammates in favourable attacking positions.

The Rebels lock may have more big game experience, but the Irishman has shown before that he is up for any challenge no matter how big the task is.

Although just 21, Ryan is one of the rising stars in the game and can tackle solidly, win his own ball and show serious willingness at the breakdown.

Standing at the same height as Coleman, the Leinster star can run around the field like a six-litre Maserati and has lost just once in 25 professional matches between club and country.

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