Strategy with risky business spells danger for McKenzie

I'M nervous and Ewen McKenzie's not helping the situation.

The Wallabies are close to fielding a team to beat the All Blacks, who will, sooner or later, face inevitable decline.

Whether or not it is this weekend is another matter.

McKenzie has publicly stated the Wallabies need to take a risk to beat the All Blacks, and he's right.

Previous All Black dynasties have been overthrown by Wallabies teams that took a gamble.

Think Bob Dwyer plucking Phil Kearns from reserve grade at Randwick, blooding Tim Horan and Jason Little aged 19 and taking a punt on John Eales.

Or Rod McQueen's vision to turn Stephen Larkham into a five-eighth.

Kurtley Beale at five-eighth for the Wallabies in tonight's Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney is McKenzie's equivalent.

Beale represents a higher risk/reward proposition than Bernard Foley.

Beale has been lauded for his recent form and fairly so. But he has benefited from a dominant forward pack and the structures Foley has executed to perfection.

Beale gave the final pass for both Adam Ashley Cooper's tries in the Super 15 final.

Those tries came after sustained Waratahs pressure, where he was able to run across field and find a straightening Ashley-Cooper, who was too strong that close to the line to hold out.

It is a different prospect from first phase.

The All Blacks will know that if Beale runs straight he is telegraphing an inside-pass.

If he is giving it outside he will drift and the Wallabies will struggle to get over the gain line. If that happens, the Wallabies can't win.

Presumably McKenzie knows all this, so will be working on it.

One thing Beale provides that Foley doesn't is his ability to interchange with Matt Toomua between five-eighth and inside centre, which could be crucial to keeping the All Blacks defence guessing.

It will give the Wallabies a chance at winning only if the forwards can at least hold their own.

Any forward will tell you forwards decide who wins matches, backs decide by how much.

It is a massive test for the Wallabies tight five, where rookie hooker Nathan Charles and second-rower Sam Carter are almost as much of a risk as Beale, in that they remain unproven at the highest level.

If they can provide a bit of mongrel around the field and hold their own in the set piece, the Wallabies backrow can be a menace in both attack and defence and the backs can prosper.

But I'm still nervous.

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