Wallabies will be a threat

Legendary Australian lock John Eales believes the Wallabies will be a huge force by the time of the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Lions tour. [more]

Wallabies will be a threat

Legendary Australian lock John Eales believes the Wallabies will be a huge force by the time of the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Lions tour.

The former Aussie captain led his country to World Cup glory in 1999 and a first-ever series triumph over the Lions two years later.

And despite a poor showing in the last World Cup and the most-recent Tri Nations, Eales believes the current crop of Wallabies have what it takes to emulate his achievements.

"They’re in better shape than we were (in 1997)," said Eales, who skippered Australia in 55 of his 86 Test appearances.
"There are parallels (between the two sides) with potential but they’re in better shape than we were."

Unfortunately for the Wallabies, that potential hasn’t yet been matched by form.

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Robbie Deans has seen his side win just once in their last seven internationals, with last weekend’s defeat to New Zealand their fourth successive loss to the All Blacks.

And Eales does not expect things to get any easier when Australia begin the Test stage of their UK tour with a clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon.

The Wallabies take on all four Home Unions on successive weekends as they look to emulate the achievements of their 1984 counterparts by beating England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at the end of another long season.

"The Grand Slam? I don’t know it’s going to be tough,” added Eales.

"Ireland are one of the best teams in the world and so are Wales. England are never easy at home and Scotland scrap their way to unlikely victories a lot of the time. 

"It’s a crucial game (against England) because starting a Grand Slam tour you don’t want to be out of the Grand Slam after game one. 

"Confidence is a funny thing, when you’ve got it sometimes you don’t know why you’ve got it and when you haven’t you don’t know where to get it…so, one win can make a big difference.”

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