Internationals McClennan keen to spoil Stuart's party

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warriors4life_old

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From nzherald.co.nz

The Australians have signalled their intent for next month's Anzac league test - and Kiwis coach Brian McClennan thinks that's great.

McClennan says he is prepared to hand over bragging rights of being the world's best if the Kiwis lose the test in Brisbane on May 5.

While State of Origin football has represented the zenith for Australian players in recent years, New Zealand's win in the Tri-Nations series late last year has changed Australian thinking.

"I think what Brian has done with the New Zealand side in the past year has generated interest in the international series," Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart said. "We've been number one for many years and we've probably become very used to it.

"Now we are number two and the challenge is there for us, and that has generated interest in it as well, to see if we can come back and knock off the boys in the Anzac test.

"By the look of the team they are going to have and the look of the team we can have, you are looking at two very, very good football teams."

Stuart said he had shown players tapes of their performances in Origin football and then contrasted it with a tape of their showing in the 0-24 Tri-Nations final loss to the Kiwis last November.

"I said I didn't think it was the same type of people playing that game. I think it comes back to preparation and attitude. You can only have that as a player if you want it. "

McClennan, who had such an impact on the Kiwis in his first season as national coach, said the fact Stuart turned down being New South Wales Origin coach to lead the Kangaroos, and that Andrew Johns was turning down Origin to play a farewell test just added to the occasion.

"It excites us that he believes this is going to be a great test and would like to make it his swansong," he said of Johns.
 

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