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Dennis awaits the menace of giant Charteris

Date

Georgina Robinson

"The biggest man I've seen" ... Dave Dennis on Welsh loose forward Luke Charteris, pictured.

"The biggest man I've seen" ... Dave Dennis on Welsh loose forward Luke Charteris, pictured. Photo: Getty Images

CARDIFF: As competitive as Dave Dennis is, the versatile Wallabies loose forward might be praying for the return of injured teammate Kane Douglas if it will save him from defending a lineout against giant second-rower Luke Charteris.

The towering Welshman, referred to by Dennis as ''the biggest man I've seen'', has hands the size of frisbees and a mean right hook, which he revealed for Top 14 club Perpignan in his first season in France this year.

At 2.06 metres, Charteris could be the tallest second-rower in the world behind Springboks second-rower Andries Bekker (2.08 metres).

Australians have not seen too much of him over the years because many of the 29-year-old's Test caps have come off the bench in back-up to the established Welsh second row duo Bradley Davies and Alun Wyn Jones.

But an injury to Wyn Jones against Samoa two weeks ago and Davies's concussion from the fist of All Blacks' Andrew Hore last weekend have thrust Charteris into the limelight.

''Every game [against Australia] has been pretty close and a game we've been in … we know we're capable of beating them, it's just making sure we have that mindset and making sure we nail those little moments which have been costing us in previous games,'' he said.

''For two teams who are so evenly matched it's a compliment to them that they've won those games and they're very clinical when it comes to those scoring opportunities and a bit of naivety from our part in not learning the lessons quick enough.''

There is extra motivation for the Welsh against Australia, as if six Test losses in a row this year were not enough. If they lose to the Wallabies, Wales slips out of the top eight in the IRB world rankings and into the third tier of teams for the 2015 World Cup draw, which takes place next week.

''The boys want to put an end to [the losses], just for our peace of mind … when you look at results we haven't come up to where we need to be,'' Charteris said.

''This game takes on extra significance with the World Cup draw coming off it so, like with any test match, you go out with the goal to win, but in the back of your mind there's extra things riding on it.''

The game will pit Charteris against veteran Wallabies second-rower Nathan Sharpe, who retires this weekend.

''Is it his last time this time? He's done it a few times and keeps coming back. I don't know how he does it to be honest with you, I'd have retired years ago,'' the Welshman joked.

''I've been lucky enough to play against him a few times and every time it's always an excellent game. He really is one of the standout second-rowers in world rugby in the last 10 to 15 years. If this is his last game, he's certainly earned his rest.''

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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