Search

Rugby World Cup: Backs can shine for Australia

14:00 23 September 2015

Australia

Australia's Israel Folau is congratulated after scoring a try against Wales (pic: David Davies/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Wallabies in ‘toughest group’ says UCS Old Boys’ Duke

Having won the last two World Cups to be held in the United Kingdom, Australia are likely to fancy their chances of making it a hat-trick come October 31.

The Wallabies seem to enjoy their time in the British Isles, having beaten hosts England in the 1991 final, before seeing off France eight years later at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

It may not be as easy for Michael Cheika’s men this time around, though, as they have been placed in a tough group alongside hosts England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.

And UCS Old Boys back Elliot Duke, who hails from Down Under, believes his home country may even have difficulty in making the knockout stages. Duke said: “I don’t think our chances are looking too good at the minute. We’ve definitely been handed the toughest draw in the competition.

“Our recent form is okay and we beat New Zealand during the Rugby Championship (which Australia won), but we don’t have the best recent record against England.”

Cheika made waves last month when he named his squad for the World Cup, leaving several big names at home.

Former captain James Horwill missed out on selection, as did Scott Higginbotham, Christian Lealiifano and Nick Cummins.

And Duke believes Cheika has made a mistake in leaving such experienced players out as they look to win the sport’s biggest prize. “I’m worried one or two of the less experienced players might be overawed by the occasion whereas those with experience wouldn’t be” added Duke.

“There’s a time and place to be experimental with a line-up and the tournament itself is definitely not the right time to do it.”

Despite Duke’s concerns about the team’s experience, or rather their lack of it, Australia do appear to have arrived with one of the most exciting back divisions in the tournament.

Mercurial could be a term used to describe both Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale, while Israel Folau is regarded as one of the best fullbacks currently playing the game.

And Duke is hoping the trio can help fire the Wallabies to glory over the next six weeks.

“Cooper is a gun. He’s probably the most talented player we have got, but politics have played a role in his international career and he gets a tough time in the press back home,” he added.

“Beale has also had a tough time over the years, but if he is ever going to fulfill his potential, then now is the time to do it.

“We’ve got some good backs and Folau is brilliant to watch. I just wish I had some tickets! I’ll just have to go down the pub and watch it with mates there.”

Duke’s UCS Old Boys team have a mix of nationalities, meaning it should be a fun time for all at the club throughout the tournament.

And Duke hopes Australia do well, if only to help him avoid being the butt of the jokes.

“I’m sure I’ll cop some flak, but I’ll be sure to dish it back if we do well!” he laughed.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

07:30
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Yesterday, 22:30
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right) could soon be lining up alongside Tottenham's Victor Wanyama (left) after Spurs made a move to sign the 23-year-old today

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would like to sign a pacy attacking midfielder before the end of the transfer window as Tottenham seek to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to White Hart Lane.

Yesterday, 14:02
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is frustrated that a host of his players will be departing for international duty again after this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Yesterday, 10:15
Laura Hirai in action for the Great Britain Under-19 team at the ESF Junior Womens European Softball Championship in Barcelona

Like most 16-year-olds, Laura Hirai’s primary concern today (Thursday) is her GCSE results. But four days after the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, when the baton was passed to Tokyo and a new four-cycle began, the teenager is also dreaming about being involved in the 2020 Games.

Yesterday, 09:40
Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Shane Gore. Pic: Martin Addison

Filling the well-worn boots of Bobby Smith doesn’t faze Shane Gore – it’s actually a case of déjà vu for Wingate & Finchley’s new No1.

Yesterday, 09:11
Hendon midfielder Sam Murphy

Hendon duo Scott Cousins and Sam Murphy are aiming to guide England to their best ever performance at the European Six-a-side Championships later this week.

Yesterday, 08:00
Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld (left) battles with Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham during Saturday's Premier League clash at White Hart Lane. Pic: PA

Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham’s players are looking forward to testing themselves against some of the best clubs in Europe and playing at Wembley Stadium ahead of today’s (Thursday’s) Champions League draw.

Wed, 14:53
Haringey Borough's Nana Asamoah scored twice in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Barkingside. Pic: Tony Gay

The goals are flying in at Coles Park – and Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou believes the new 3G pitch has played a big part after his side scored seven goals in Saturday’s FA Cup victory, writes Dan Long.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now