He may be the author and main character of arguably the best, or worst, hard luck story in international Rugby for 2011, but if Drew Mitchell’s try-scoring capability returns in 2013 he will be a certainty to break through the British & Irish line. Mitchell’s two tries in the 2011 Rugby World Cup game against Russia took his tally in Rugby World Cups to 10 – the second most by an Australian at the tournament (tied with David Campese and just one behind the 11 compiled by Chris Latham). The second of Mitchell’s tries against Russia also tied Matthew Burke’s career tally of 29, which is the sixth most scored by any player for Australia. Just two more would see Mitchell move to outright third on that list, overtaking the 30 tries that were scored by Joe Roff, Lote Tuqiri and Tim Horan.Mitchell had earlier excelled at the 2007 World Cup in France, where he had finished as that competition’s second highest try-scorer with seven, with the tally including a hat-trick against Fiji. A second career hat-trick came in 2010 during the record 59-16 thumping of the then Six Nations champions France. It was the first instance of three tries by an Australian against France and also gave Mitchell the 23rd and 25th hat-tricks by an Australian in Tests, being split by the hat-trick James O’Connor scored against Italy in 2009.
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21 MAY 2013