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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Wallabies expect 'dirty' English
Mark Regan
The fiery Mark Regan will play at hooker for England

England v Australia
Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Saturday, 6 October
Kick-off: 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio 5live and the BBC Sport website

Australia have accused England of dirty play ahead of their World Cup quarter-final in Marseille on Saturday.

Wallaby coach John Connolly has even spoken to referee's manager Paddy O'Brien to make sure the game is clean.

"By the forwards they have chosen it's a pretty rough pack," said Wallaby forward Hugh McMeniman. "You can expect anything from the English.

"Definitely off the ball stuff. If you are on the ground you can get anything... a scratch on the eye."

Connolly suggested that the selection of feisty hooker Mark Regan was a sign of how England planned to play.

"England picking Regan at hooker delivers an intent," said Connolly.

"We've spoken to Paddy O'Brien to make sure he behaves himself... just to make sure the game's fair and clean, as opposed to the other side of it."


But the comments were laughed off by England centre Ollie Barkley, who knows Connolly well having played under him at Bath.

"It doesn't surprise me he's starting rumours," said Barkley.

"I'm sure he did it with a smile on his face. It's part of his preparations for a game."

McMeniman said the Wallabies' assistant coach Michael Foley, who has worked extensively in Britain, had also warned his players to watch out for unsettling tactics by the English.

And he stressed that while he had not encountered any foul play in his previous meeting with England, all international sides were inclined to play the same way.

"It's something you don't want in the game but it happens a lot," said McMeniman.

"There's a lot of teams in the world that do it to try and get over the top of their opposite player mentally but you've got to deal with it.

"If it happens on the ground I guess you have to deal what you feel is right then... but it's not going to have any effect on us.

"I would like to see us play the sort of game we want to play, I get more enjoyment out of that, more so than coming down to fisticuffs on the ground with some blokes."

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