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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Mumm's presence gives Australia a lineout lift in bid to nullify Ireland's 'dangerous threat'

Michael Cheika opts to reshuffle his back row to include the experience and quality of the 32-year-old.

Dean Mumm during Australia training at the RDS earlier.
Dean Mumm during Australia training at the RDS earlier.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

AUSTRALIA HAVE IDENITIFED Ireland’s lineout as one of the key areas to disrupt as they chase a fourth-straight Test victory at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The inclusion of 6 foot 5 inch Dean Mumm at blindside flanker in Michael Cheika’s starting XV is a clear indication of their plans to nullify the threat posed by the Irish set-piece.

The versatile Waratahs forward replaces Lopeti Timani from the side which defeated Scotland a fortnight ago and is set to operate in an explosive backrow alongside David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

But Mumm’s primary role will be to prevent Joe Schmidt’s side gaining clean ball and building an attacking platform from the lineout.

“They’ve got a threat there,” Cheika said at his pre-match press conference.

“But also Dean does a lot of other work around the field that probably isn’t noticed, but we notice it around some of the areas that we think are strengths of Ireland.

“He’s got a big workrate and we understand that for a team that’s in good form like they are we’re going to have to work really hard. There are a few reasons why we brought him, lineout was one of the major ones but there’s a few reasons there that we feel he’ll add to the team.”

Dean Mumm The versatile forward speaking to the media after training. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

As Cheika, Mumm and Quade Cooper addressed the media after their penultimate training session of the week at the RDS, news filtered through of Ireland’s team selection and the inclusion of Iain Henderson alongside Devin Toner in the second row.

“That’s the first I know of it,” Mumm said. “But Henderson is a tremendous player. Obviously the influence he had throughout last year, particularly during the World Cup, he had a terrific World Cup.

“It goes to show perhaps how they want to play in terms of the physicallity they want to bring to the game and that’s certainly something he can bring and he also brings a good lineout option away from Toner.”

“It’s a tremendous lineout and a tremendous springboard for a lot of their attack and a lot of their structure is based on the lineout. It is one of the best lineouts going around in world rugby at the moment. Devin Toner runs it, and he’s efficient in the way he runs it and he’s an excellent jumper and the connection between Best and Toner there.

“They came up against what is considered as one of the best lineout defences last week and they still were very, very good in what they did. It’s a massive challenge for us collectively as a lineout and it’s a big challenge for me in trying to reduce the influence the lineout can have on the game.

“I think it’s basically a level of disruption in some form, which I’m not going to tell you how we’re planning on doing that but the lineout for them is a great source for the way they want to play.

“I’m very excited, it’s a massive game for us in the context of the season so to get the opportunity to start in a position I thorougly enjoy playing in is great so I’m really pleased.”

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Ryan Bailey

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