World Cup - Team Guide: Australia

Thu, 08 Sep 17:13:00 2011

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Australian players re-group during their rugby union Test match against Samoa - 0

AUSTRALIA

Colours: Gold shirt, green shorts.

Nickname: Wallabies.

World ranking: 2.

Coach: Robbie Deans.

No matter what happens at the World Cup, the New Zealander’s future is secure, after he re-signed this year as head coach until 2013. Australia may have won fewer than 60 per cent of their Tests since Deans became the first non-Australian to take the role in 2008, but he has made them an exciting side to watch.

Squad:

BACKS Born Caps Tries Cons Pens DGs Pts

Adam Ashley-Cooper 27/3/84 56 17 0 0 0 85

Berrick Barnes 28/5/86 31 4 3 6 5 59

Kurtley Beale 6/1/89 19 8 0 2 0 46

Luke Burgess 20/8/83 33 1 0 0 0 5

Quade Cooper 5/4/88 28 6 5 5 0 55

Anthony Faingaa 2/2/87 7 0 0 0 0 0

Will Genia 17/1/88 27 5 0 0 0 25

Rob Horne 15/8/89 6 0 0 0 0 0

Digby Ioane 14/7/85 16 8 0 0 0 40

Pat McCabe 21/3/88 6 1 0 0 0 5

Drew Mitchell 26/3/84 55 27 0 0 0 135

James O’Connor 5/7/90 30 11 22 16 0 147

Nick Phipps 9/1/89 2 0 0 0 0 0

FORWARDS

Ben Alexander 13/11/84 29 2 0 0 0 10

Rocky Elsom 14/2/83 69 13 0 0 0 65

Saia Faingaa 2/2/87 14 0 0 0 0 0

Scott Higginbotham 5/9/86 6 0 0 0 0 0

James Horwill 29/5/85 28 5 0 0 0 25

Sekope Kepu 5/2/86 8 0 0 0 0 0

Salesi Ma’afu 22/3/83 11 0 0 0 0 0

Ben McCalman 18/3/88 13 0 0 0 0 0

Stephen Moore 20/1/83 60 4 0 0 0 20

David Pocock 23/4/88 34 2 0 0 0 10

Wycliff Palu 27/7/82 36 1 0 0 0 5

Tatafu Polota-Nau 26/7/85 25 2 0 0 0 10

Radike Samo 9/7/76 8 1 0 0 0 5

Nathan Sharpe 26/2/78 96 7 0 0 0 35

Rob Simmons 19/4/89 9 0 0 0 0 0

James Slipper 6/6/89 14 0 0 0 0 0

Dan Vickerman 4/6/79 57 0 0 0 0 0

Key player: Quade Cooper.

A vital cog in the Australian wheel. If the New Zealand-born fly-half sparkles, the opposition will not know what has hit them. Either he will run rings round them or he will have his backs attacking from all angles. However, if he is kept quiet, the Wallabies will suffer greatly.

2010-11 form:

30/10/10 v New Zealand (Hong Kong) W 26-24

6/11/10 v Wales (Cardiff) W 25-16

13/11/10 v England (Twickenham) L 18-35

20/11/10 v Italy (Firenze) W 32-14

27/11/10 v France (Paris) W 59-16

17/7/11 v Samoa (Sydney) L 23-32

23/7/11 v South Africa (Sydney) W 39-20

6/8/11 v New Zealand (Auckland) L 14-30

13/8/11 v South Africa (Durban) W 14-9

27/8/11 v New Zealand (Brisbane) W 25-20

World Cup pedigree:

Winners: 1991, 1999.

Runners-up: 2003.

Fourth: 1987.

Quarter-finals: 1995, 2007.

Record: P34, W28, D0, L6.

Most appearances: George Gregan 20.

Most points: Michael Lynagh 195.

Most tries: Chris Latham 11.

Hero: Nick Farr-Jones.

Forever guaranteed a place in the hearts of Wallaby supporters everywhere for skippering Australia to their first World Cup in 1991 towards the end of a glittering career, which featured 63 Tests, including 36 as captain.

Villain: David Codey.

Entered the Australian Hall of Infamy by becoming the first Wallaby to be sent off in a Test match following an incident at a ruck. To make matters worse, it came after only four minutes of the World Cup play-off for third place against Wales in the first tournament in 1987, which the Welsh went on to win 22-21.

High:

Difficult to choose between the 1991 and 1999 finals – but the first match probably edges it because it was the Wallabies’ first World Cup triumph and because they out-thought the old enemy, England, on home territory, whereas France didn’t really turn up in their 35-12 rout in Cardiff eight years later.

Low:

Undoubtedly the 2003 final, where England gained revenge for that 1991 loss at Twickenham by triumphing in Sydney with Jonny Wilkinson’s extra-time drop-goal, which secured a 20-17 victory.

2011 prospects:

So much depends on the Wallabies’ pack. If they are hammered in the scrums – as they were by England last November – they could face an early exit in the knockout stages. However, if they can secure even a modicum of possession, their multi-talented backs will ensure they are a huge threat – as they proved in winning the Tri Nations.

Group matches:

11/9/11 v Italy (Auckland)

17/9/11 v Ireland (Auckland)

23/9/11 v USA (Wellington)

1/10/11 v Russia (Nelson)

Eurosport

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