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Timani returns to provide needed steel in Wallabies' pack

Impact needed ... second-rower Sitaleki Timani.

Impact needed ... second-rower Sitaleki Timani. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Returning lock Sitaleki Timani likes to make his presence felt on the field from the kick-off.

While an outside back might crave that first touch to settle the nerves, Timani needs to bowl over his first opponent.

''If they kick it off to my side I just want to be the first one to tackle that [receiving] guy or the first one to get there,'' he said, adding that it was his responsibility to set the intensity level early.

''If you are big you've got to make the difference, you've got to stand up and try to get everyone to follow you or start something.''

After sitting out the first Test on the Wallabies' spring tour, Timani was declared fit to play England and appears to be the selectors' first choice to partner captain Nathan Sharpe in the second row.

Prop Ben Alexander appears to be marked to take over at tight-head from Sekope Kepu, while the insertion of Berrick Barnes at fullback, in place of Mike Harris, could be the only other change coach Robbie Deans makes to the starting line-up that played against France.

It was uncertain what Deans was planning for Digby Ioane. He ran in opposition for much of Tuesday's training session but was later swapped with Nick Cummins.

There was also uncertainty about Rob Simmons, who was due to face a lifting-tackle charge on Wednesday afternoon.

Timani's return is much needed. His imposing physicality is an element the Wallabies and fans have come to rely on. There is something reassuring about watching his two-metre, 120-kilogram frame trundle down the field, ball in hand, with defenders clinging to his jersey.

But Timani, 26, knows he needs more than brawn to continue his rise through the Wallabies' playing ranks, especially at a time coaches are contemplating life after Sharpe.

''[You need] skills as well as brains to play,'' he said. ''I think I'm getting better and better but every game I try to learn something and go back and watch the game, and find what I need to bring in for the next game.''

While he did not have a hand in the disastrous France result, Timani will be a crucial part of the effort to resurrect the spring tour this weekend. On Tuesday the squad watched England's Test defeat of Fiji. ''They are coming pretty hard in the breakdown, every opportunity they come in pretty hard at it and all the forwards are really big and strong as well,'' Timani said.

''A big thing for me is to be in the scrum and try to get our ball and try to make a difference in the scrum. Probably defence as well, try to talk up the boys to get in position and make the tackle.''

After the Wallabies' loss in Paris, many players mentioned the attitudinal shift the side needed to make against England. ''We know what we want and we've got to do it,'' he said. ''We have talked about it enough, we just need to do it in the game. We need to perform and bring that mental toughness into the game and try to do whatever it takes to win.''

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
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SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
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TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
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WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
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SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
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ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
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ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
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Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
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NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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