Focus all on France for Wallaroos

Womens Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallaroos don’t want to let their focus slip as they prepare for their second pool match, and assistant coach Dwayne Nestor says they simply can’t afford to.

After an agonising loss to hosts Ireland, Australia faces world number four France on Monday morning (AEST), a must-win clash if they want to keep their semi final hopes alive.

Nestor said the side’s belief had only grown after that first-up match, but they couldn’t accept any less against France.

“They’re a very good team and if we’re not on, we will struggle, it’ll be like we’ve been put on a desert island - we’ll feel very outside of things if that’s the case,” he said.

“I think France are a tough team but I just think the belief in the girls and their understanding of how we want to play and how they are playing, that will come through.”

Chloe Butler expects another challenge on Monday. Photo: Getty ImagesLock Chloe Butler said the improvement in the squad, despite relatively little face time, has been a testament to their dedication.

“We’ve been really selflessly building and putting ourselves in at training and doing all our reviews on video, reviewing the other teams,” she said.

“We’ve been taking every bit of help the ARU have offered us in terms of intel of the coaching staff who’ve come on board who are also really passionate about helping us move forward and be a real threat and competitive in the World Cup.”

Butler is expecting a big test in the tight five against the French, but also potentially a sliver more freedom than they had last Thursday.

“Ireland and France are pretty strong rivals in the Six Nations so we’re aware of what’s to come against France,” she said.

“It’ll be another hard game, tight around the ruck, bit more free flowing but definitely going  to take it to them.”

The Wallaroos take on France on Monday August 14, kicking off at 4:45am AEST  LIVE on FOX SPORTS.