Search

Rugby World Cup: Backs can shine for Australia

14:00 23 September 2015

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

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

Yesterday, 08:57

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Fri, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says it is important that Tottenham’s players are “desperate” to stay at the club and do not need to be convinced to remain at White Hart Lane.

Fri, 18:46

Middlesex dethroned Yorkshire in a thrilling finish at Lord’s to win their first County Championship title since 1993.

Fri, 13:01

Mauricio Pochettino will today assess the fitness of Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Middlesbrough – but he admits it might be “a risk” to select his midfield duo at the Riverside Stadium.

Fri, 07:00

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Martin Stephens reveals his favourite player, his most memorable match and the worst moment he has experienced following Wingate & Finchley.

Thu, 22:30

Christian Eriksen says the recent spate of contract renewals at Tottenham shows the players are keen to keep the current squad together for the long term, because they all feel there is “something special to build on” at White Hart Lane.

Thu, 18:33

Tim Bresnan’s unbeaten century kept Yorkshire on course for a hat-trick of County Championship titles – and all but ended Middlesex’s hopes of snatching their crown.

Thu, 15:17

As the dual meaning of the club’s name would suggest, Soccerscool FC is based around twin objectives – developing football skills and having fun.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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