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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Gregan - Wallabies must improve
Australia captain George Gregan
Gregan's side were in superb form against Ireland recently

Saturday, 8 July
Kick-off: 0835 BST

Australia captain George Gregan said his side will need to step up a gear to beat New Zealand in Saturday's opening Tri-Nations game in Christchurch.

The Wallabies arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday in confident form after easy wins over England and Ireland.

"We're fully aware there are areas where we need to improve to get the job done on Saturday," Gregan said.

"We are playing against a very, very good team - probably the stand-out team over the past 12 months," he said.

Wallaby coach John Connolly has named the same starting line-up which overcame Ireland 37-15 in Perth late last month.

The All Blacks will be playing their strongest side available after using two different starting line-ups in less-than-convincing victories against Ireland and Argentina last month.

They have picked full-back Mils Muliaina at outside centre, the fourth different player the All Blacks have tried in that position this season as they seek to replace former captain Tana Umaga, who has retired.

Muliaina said he felt as if he was making his All Black debut again.

"It didn't help that the legend (Umaga) left and left some big boots to fill," Muliaina said.

He also admitted he would have his hands full keeping tabs on his opposite number Stirling Mortlock, one of the stars of a strong Wallaby backline.

"He can be a daunting sight and he's playing some awesome rugby. He's a centre that I rate right up there," Muliaina added.

"He's a guy they turn to when things aren't going too well and he gets things going again. If he does that, he can damage a lot of teams."

Muliaina wins outside centre role
04 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Nonu to miss most of Tri-Nations
03 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Thorne back in All Blacks squad
26 Jun 06 |  Internationals
New Zealand 34-24 Australia
03 Sep 05 |  Internationals

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