Aussies have a score to settle

BORDEAUX - The English press and fans may have written off England's chances of progressing beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup in the defence of their trophy but next opponents Australia are not convinced.

BORDEAUX - The English press and fans may have written off England's chances of progressing beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup in the defence of their trophy but next opponents Australia are not convinced.

Australia always thought they would play England at this stage when they saw the draw for the World Cup, rightly assuming that South Africa would top England's group.

And despite acknowledging that they are favourites against the side that denied them a third title on home soil four years ago, they still recognise there is much to fear from the holders.

Lock Nathan Sharpe, like all his teammates, can't wait to take on the champions, even if publicly everyone is denying revenge is on their minds.

"I can't wait and I think the whole team is of the same mindset," he said.

"They've started to build as this tournament went on and they're playing some better football at the right time of the tournament.

"So it's no surprise to us that we're playing them and I think ever since we beat Fiji it's been a big focus for us.

"When you look at the World Cup draw you look at possible match-ups and this is a game you could foresee so it's not like it's snuck up on us and it's certainly something all the guys are looking forward to."

The Australian players all claim the World Cup final of four years ago is history but when pushed on the subject, it's clear it's still in their minds. - Sapa-AFP

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