Featured Teams


2010-10-25 19:58

Nickname: The Wallabies

Captain: James Horwill

Coaches: Robbie Deans

RWC Appearances: 6 (First in 1987)

Best result: Champions 1991, 1999

Australia has a long history of playing successful, attacking rugby and, based on their past performances at the World Cup, determination and proximity to home crowds, must be considered outside favourites to win the title for a third time in 2011.

The Wallabies have produced some of the greatest players ever to grace a field, particularly in the last 20 years, with the likes of Michael Lynagh, David Campese, John Eales, Nick Farr-Jones, Matt Burke and Stephen Larkham all springing to mind.

This year, players like Will Genia, Quade Cooper and James O'Connor have taken over the mantle from their predecessors and have been charged with leading the team to victory

Australia won rugby's ultimate prize in 1991 and 1999, and were losing finalist in 2003 when they were beaten by England. However, the team have had some lean years since the 2003 tournament and the period between 2005 – 2009 proved to be the toughest.

The Wallabies were win-less for long periods during this time and a quarter-final defeat to England at the 2007 World Cup came as a bitter blow.

As a result of the poor performances, Robbie Deans was appointed head coach in early 2008 and began his preparations for the 2008 Tri-Nations series with out the services of Wallaby stalwarts George Gregan and Stephen Larkham, who retired after the World Cup.

The Wallabies had mixed results in the 2008 Tri Nations, defeating New Zealand in Sydney and defeating South Africa twice, in both Perth and Durban. However, the Wallabies suffered the worst defeat in their history, going down 53-8 to South Africa in Johannesburg.

2009 started out as a good year for Deans' team, with morale boosting victories over the Barbarians, Italy and France, but five losses in six Tri-Nations games and further defeats to New Zealand and Scotland in Tests at the end of the year brought the team crashing back down to earth.

The following year saw improved results in the Tri-Nations, with a very rare away win against South Africa awarding Australia the Mandela Plate and ensuring they retained second place both in the 2010 Tri-Nations competition and IRB World Rankings. However, they suffered their tenth consecutive defeat at the hands the All Blacks.

This year, the Wallabies are a much improved side and will head into the tournament in better form than most teams and flush with confidence after winning the Tri-Nations and Super Rugby in 2011.


Forwards: Radike Samo, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Dan Vickerman, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Salesi Ma'afu, Stephen Moore, Saia Faingaa, Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Backs: Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Berrick Barnes, Quade Cooper, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Will Genia, Ben McCalman.

Key Player

James O'Connor
Height: 1.8m
Weight: 84kgs

Lightening fast feet and a great boot give O'Connor the unique ability to play at fly half, full back, wing or centre comfortably, and he has shown that he can literally run circles around most defenders.


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