SYDNEY, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Australia has the young talent to potentially build the best front row in the world, new scrum coach Petrus Du Plessis said on Wednesday, a few days after meeting the players in person for the first time.
The South African-born former prop followed head coach Dave Rennie from Glasgow Warriors and has been impressed with the front row forwards at his disposal.
Despite Australia suffering their worst ever loss to New Zealand a few hours after Du Plessis came out of quarantine last weekend, he said the talent is there to turn the Wallabies scrum into a significant force.
“We want to make the scrum a weapon so we can decide whether we attack or not and we can manipulate the opposition so we can attack much better,” the 39-year-old told reporters.
“We’ve got an impressive, athletic bunch of young guys coming through in Australia and it’s a massive pleasure to work with them.
“I believe the way they are going now, they are going to be heavily featured in the future for world rugby. The talent we’ve got at the minute is good enough to possibly have the best scrum in the world, I believe.”
Australia face the All Blacks in a fourth successive test this weekend still looking for a first win after a draw and two losses but Du Plessis said the Wallabies scrum was getting close to challenging the “really solid” New Zealand tight five.
Du Plessis, who played with or against some of the best front-row forwards in the world in 20 years in English rugby, said Tongan-born tighthead prop Taniela Tupou had huge potential.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete, probably one of the strongest props I’ve ever come across,” he said.
“His future’s really bright, he’s learning really, really well. I feel from here on we’ll see a different picture from him and hopefully a nice bit of dominance.” (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)
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