Captain Dean Mumm knows the need for getting a bonus-point triumph if Australia use Pool A minnows Uruguay at Villa Park on Sunday.
“I was very proud of his performance because he knows the guys are there and he has just got to keep taking it to them”.
Australia coach Michael Cheika says England will be favourites for next Saturday’s massive World Cup showdown at Twickenham.
Yes, Wales’ win has showed that England are beatable at Twickenham, but the loss will surely make the Rugby World Cup hosts harder to beat.
“We’ve got some pretty influential players in those positions, but as long as he (McMahon) is there rattling their cage, that’ll keep them honest”.
With last night’s squad referred to as the “B team” against Uruguay, Cheika admitted the performance of some standout players last night has caused selection headaches ahead of the next test.
“It’s pretty exciting”, he said after the victory.
Among those to get a start is wing Drew Mitchell, who will win his 66th cap, along with Toulon teammate Matt Giteau a beneficiary of Australia’s decision to let in talent playing overseas.
Mitchell scored two clinical tries after the break, and now has a chance to overtake New Zealanders Doug Howlett (13) and Jonah Lomu (15) at this tournament for the most tries in World Cup history, although he has far tougher games coming up against England and Wales.
On that occasion, Australia’s dangerman Israel Folau was kept quiet and their weakness in the set piece was exposed – a point Cheika has not forgotten.
“It gives everyone the opportunity in the World Cup environment to play for places and to compete with their team-mates who went on the field on Wednesday, to put their best foot forward and play some good rugby”.
“When I’m old and I’ve got kids and they’re beating me around the backyard, then I can just tell them about that or something”. It’s like dreams becoming reality for me.
No 8 Wycliff Palu, who came off at half-time, is a doubt for the England game because of a hamstring problem, while lock Will Skelton “has some ice on his shoulder”, according to Cheika.
Former player Greg Martin said that the spotlight on the English team put the Wallabies at an clear advantage.
Coach Pablo Lemoine has made five changes to his team, including the promotion of 21-year-old hooker German Kessler to the starting line-up.
“We’re all competitive animals but at the same time there’s something bigger than us and we’ve got a nation at home that’s really supportive and they want to see us do well”, he said. There were little particular areas that I wanted the players to work on.
“We’ve been preparing our defensive system and also our physical fitness to be up to it. Every time we have the ball we’re going to attack … to test ourselves because we’re facing the best in the world”.