Wallabies will sail into semis - Wendell
October 5, 2007
Former Australia winger Wendell Sailor has backed the Wallabies to gain revenge for the 2003 World Cup final and send England "out of the door".
Sailor was a member of the side beaten in Sydney four years ago by Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in the dying seconds of extra time and admits the memory
Nine of the side beaten that day will play in Marseille tomorrow and they have all been trying to play down suggestions 2003 will act as a motivating factor.
But Sailor said: ``I know a fair few blokes in that squad who hurt a little bit. I am not even playing and I am still hurting from it. I had nightmares
``They have a chance to get a bit of revenge there.
``There are guys who want to make amends because of the way England carried on after the World Cup.
``It was fair enough - but because it was our own ground it was more of a stab to the heart.
``They are the world champions but I think they are on their way out of the door.''
Sailor is currently serving a two-year ban after testing positive for cocaine and when he returns to action it is set to be back in rugby league.
But he has been watching the World Cup closely. There is no bitterness anymore at missing out. He has accepted the ban and moved on.
Sailor does not expect the Wallabies to waltz into the semi-finals after England named a powerful side, with a huge tight five clearly bent on hammering
But he does believe Australia will be strong enough to come through in the end.
``The English have Jonny Wilkinson and will be in the game for a long period of time,'' he told Rugby Heaven.
``But I like the way the boys are building and I am confident we can win this and win well.
``We beat the All Blacks this year which gave us a lot of confidence and we are playing better rugby than we were in 2003.''
For the record, Sailor expects Australia to be joined in the last four by New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
``I'd put my house on it,'' he said.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery