Australian duo turn to Wilkinson for advice

2015-09-16 19:39

London - Australia winger Drew Mitchell and utility back Matt Giteau have tapped into the experience of their former Toulon team-mate Jonny Wilkinson in their bid to win the Rugby World Cup.

Wilkinson kicked the drop goal that won England the 2003 final against Australia in Sydney and he passed on his advice ahead of the tournament which starts on Friday.

"We know Jonny reasonably well and he's been open about it, about how it was one of the best things but also one of the most difficult things he has gone through with the fame and attention," Giteau told a news conference in Bath on Wednesday.

"We have been able to speak to him about the good and bad side of it all."

Mitchell said it would a great achievement to become the third Australian side to win the World Cup in England following the teams of 1991 and 1999.

"We want to achieve the ultimate, but there is a lot to go through, prepare and execute before that," Mitchell said.

The Australians begin their campaign against Fiji in Cardiff on Sept. 23 before playing Uruguay, England and Wales in a tough Pool A.

"For now the focus is on Fiji," Mitchell said

"The moment you start looking beyond that is when you start getting into a bit of trouble. Fiji are far too good a side to look beyond them."

Mitchell and Giteau were recalled to the Wallaby ranks this year after the Australian Rugby Union relaxed its rules on picking overseas-based players.

"It's a big issue for us but now it's been done and we are both very thankful that we've been given the opportunity to come back and be involved for our country in such a massive thing as the World Cup," Giteau said.

Giteau praised the contributions of assistant coaches Stephen Larkham and Nathan Grey who were both members of the 1999 World Cup-winning squad.

"They add a lot and they know what it's like to win a World Cup," he said.

"We are chasing that. The biggest thing for us is consistency. To be good at training and consistently playing well," Giteau added.

"To have those guys around with their knowledge and expertise, even the smallest details that they train and give us, adds a lot."

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