Ex-Wallabies skipper Moore says confidence key to beating England

Rugby World Cup
by Emma Greenwood

Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore says the Wallabies' failure to top their World Cup pool is only an impediment if they allow it to be one, with their quarter-final against England an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

The Wallabies path to another World Cup final was made more difficult when they lost to Wales but Moore, who captained Australia to the final in 2015, said it would not necessarily dint the team's confidence.

"It's all in the mind, that sort of stuff, you've got to park that and get on with it," Moore said.

"I'm sure they will have spoken about that. But you've got to play your best match in the big games, that's what World Cups are about.

Stephen Moore 'needs to be challenged'.  Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

"If you play really well, then you can win the Test - and that's the way they've got to approach it."

The Wallabies have adopted a siege mentality this week, scarcely acknowledging their rivals, saying they are focusing only on themselves.

But Moore said the Australians were well versed in the England way of play given how often they have faced the old foe and would know exactly what they would be up against from Eddie Jones's men.

"We generally play them at least once a year, so I think they'll know exactly what they're facing, which will be a really well-organised, well-coached team with the right level of experience," he said.

"If you look at everything Eddie has said over the last four years, it's all about peaking in the World Cup, so he's been gearing everything - his squad, his selections - all towards peaking at this World Cup.

Stephen Moore feels he has plenty more to give after 117 Tests. Photo: Getty Images

"And he's been very clear about that, so the Wallabies will be under no illusions as to what they face there. England will be a good opponent."

But the Wallabies are not the only team under pressure.

Wales and Ireland have held the world no.1 ranking this year following their Six Nations and touring success, and Jones needs a payoff from his focus on the World Cup.

"There will be a lot of pressure on them. They're expected to win the World Cup, that's what Eddie has said, he's said he expects them to win it, so that puts pressure on them to perform.

"Quarter-finals are big games and you need to play well in big games, everyone knows that. But anyone can win the game on the day if they play well enough."


And Moore says the Wallabies can "absolutely" still win the Cup.

"If we're good enough, we can win it, the best team will win it.

"That's where you want to be - in the quarter-final of a World cup. The good thing about still being alive is it's all up to you, it's still in your hands.

"You can control the outcome. So that's a good place to be."