Allan Alaalatoa during a Wallabies training session at Ballymore.
Allan Alaalatoa during a Wallabies training session at Ballymore. DAVE HUNT

Wallabies aiming to make big weakness into a strength

PROP Allan Alaalatoa has revealed the Wallabies' bold plan to become the best set-piece team in the world.

Long vilified and targeted at the scrum by superior northern hemisphere rivals, Australia wants to turn that perceived weakness into a fearsome weapon by the 2019 World Cup.

They can make a huge statement towards that on Saturday afternoon in Sydney by dominating Scotland's much-vaunted scrum.

"We're expecting a high-physicality game upfront from their forwards. Obviously they come from Europe so they're going to bring strong set-piece, especially their maul and scrum," Alaalatoa said.

"We just have to go back at them.

"We see our set-piece as trying to grow towards the best in the world.

"The more we can aim to do that here at training, then we're only going to ring the best out of us on Saturday."

Alaalatoa said the fact Australia had won the past two Tests against Scotland in the final moments will give them confidence in the dying stages should the match be close at Allianz Stadium.

"We know that we've won those close battles in the last two years away from home, it does give us a little bit of confidence," Alaalatoa said.

"In saying that we know it's going to be strong game again, here at home.

"The job is going to important not only for the starting team but for the finishers."


Henry Speight of the Wallabies dives to score the side's second try, during an international test match between the Wallabies and Fiji, played at AAMI stadium in Melbourne, Saturday, June 10, 2017.(AAP Image/Joe Castro) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Henry Speight of the Wallabies dives to score the side's second try against Fiji. JOE CASTRO

Alaalatoa, who displaced one of his mentors Sekope Kepu as the starting Wallaby tight-head last weekend against Fiji, was one of Australia's best in the 37-14 win.

The Wallabies went backwards in one scrum but otherwise were the dominant side.

However, Scotland will be a far tougher test and Australia will have clear picture of how their scrum is developing after that encounter.

There's potential for Alaalatoa and Brumbies teammate Scott Sio - who both grew up in Sydney - to start in the front-row together this weekend.

Meanwhile, winger Henry Speight, a two-try star from last Saturday's win, says he is trying to develop a stronger voice in the Wallabies' backline.

The softly spoken Speight has so far let his powerful running do most of his talking, but recognises the need to grow his communication skills.

"(I'm) usually a bit quiet and shy in recent years coming into the environment, so just trying to be more vocal and demand the ball a bit more," Speight said.

"It is (difficult) when there's thousands in the crowd drowning your voice out.

"So, finding a way to try and rise above that with my voice is my work on, so that's going to be something I'll have to keep at."