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

59 minutes ago
Liam Hughes was Hampstead's best performer with the bat and ball but his efforts were not enough to save his side from defeat. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead suffered another setback in their title defence, losing for the third time in their opening four Premier Division matches after falling 99 runs short in their chase against Teddington.

30 minutes ago
Jaron Semper was part of a tail-end resistance that added 51 runs to North Middlesex's total but that effort proved to be in vain. Pic: Max Flego

Overseas recruit Mitch Murray hit his first half-century for North Middlesex and was the top scorer in Saturday’s clash with Richmond - but the Crouch End club slumped to their third successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Friday, May 27, 2016
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum hits out against England in 2015

James Franklin has warned that Middlesex cannot expect his former New Zealand team-mate Brendon McCullum to single-handedly transform their fortunes in one-day cricket.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Saracens' Chris Wyles scores his second try in Saturday's Premiership semi-final against Leicester

Saracens are aiming to complete an historic European and domestic double as they gear up for Saturday’s Premiership final at Twickenham.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

While it may be a cliché, to get a first-class hundred for the first time at Lord’s – the home of cricket – was an absolute dream come true.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Henry Collier bats for Hampstead. Pic: Max Flego

Hampstead captain Steve Clark feels his side have shown what they are capable of after the reigning champions kickstarted their title defence with a comprehensive home win.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Left to right: Camden Swiss Cottage's Ally Dill, Amir Castronovo, Lauren Brantley, Alexis Lambropoulos, Marliese Rittenhouse, Brandon Biss, Ella McEver, Lyelle Kahaner, Alexander Chen and Clementine Butler Brown

A contingent of Camden Swiss Cottage’s youngsters faced their biggest challenge of the season so far at the London Regional Age Group Championships, held over two weekends at Crystal Palace.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe