COMMENT:

Tentacles of turmoil around the Wallabies are gathering.

In the wake of another Bledisloe Cup failure, the level of discontent has risen alongside theories from experienced figures in the rugby community about the state of the game in Australia.

Daily dispatches have covered most areas. Former coach Bob Dwyer thinks they are unfit, squad member Dane Haylett-Petty pinpointed a lack of mental strength, World Cup winner Daniel Herbert felt they were hampered by a confused executive and former Super Rugby boss and players' delegate Greg Harris called for a dramatic restructure.

Advertisement

As grievances flare across the land about over-paid players and under-performance, there are counter-groups hosing down complaints with opinions that every side in the world is on a lower rung than the All Blacks.

Those concepts will intersect a week today at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane when the Wallabies run out against the Springboks with both sides facing substantial demands for better performances.

The Wallabies had the toughest start to the Rugby Championship with successive tests against the All Blacks where their hopes were ripped apart both times leaving coach Michael Cheika's record struggling around 50 per cent. Defence, fitness, Camp Waiheke - wherever you looked, there were holes in their game.

Similar problems showed through the Boks after their opening win against the Pumas before they were taken apart in the return test in Mendoza. Excuses came about the inexperience of coach Rassie Erasmus, selection quotas and the exodus of players.

All those dramas will get turned over, revisited and debated this week before the teams lay it on the line in a match where home advantage may offer a slight clue about the result. Everything else points to a testy build-up and an awkwardly close contest.

The Boks are ranked seventh in the world, while the Wallabies are a tick higher on World Rugby's list and have been rolled this year by the All Blacks and Ireland, who are ranked at the top of the queue.

A year ago, the All Blacks flogged the Springboks 57-0 at Albany and that added another chapter in the eventual damnation of coach Allister Coetzee. He had succeeded Heyneke Meyer but post the 2015 World Cup, both men have gone, with Erasmus now in the role.

The All Blacks' dominance is creating carnage on and off the field. For some rivals, it brings a necessary overhaul, while others need the courage to stick with their plans and work away on sustained targets to peak at next year's World Cup.

Advertisement