Wallabies on the right track: Farr-Jones - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies on the right track: Farr-Jones

By Caris Bizzaca 24/09/2010 06:13:42 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies legend Nick Farr-Jones doesn't completely see eye-to-eye with Robbie Deans, but he does believe the former All Black has Australia on track for a successful 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Farr-Jones is concerned about the Wallabies continually squandering match-winning leads and disagrees with Deans's assertion that Australia's latest Bledisloe Cup heartbreak may prove a blessing in disguise.

"You can't lead by 10, 15 and 20 points and get run down," Farr-Jones told AAP on Friday.

"Maybe that's a lack of leadership or maturity, but we definitely have to get better in that regard.

"We ended up falling over the line (against South Africa) in Bloemfontein, but I think we've got to learn how to close a game down, for want of a better expression."

Speaking at a rugby luncheon in Sydney on Friday, Deans pointed to the positives of Australia's last-up 23-22 loss to New Zealand.

"In an ironic way, it may actually serve us well having come up short," Deans said.

"If we'd got up with a young group and thought they were somewhere where they're not, then that wouldn't have served us well."

But Farr-Jones said building a winning culture had been crucial for his 1991 World Cup-winning Wallabies.

"For me, I know that winning in Wellington in 1990 - one year before the World Cup - was hugely important for us," the former Test captain said.

Farr-Jones, though, definitely sees light at the end of the tunnel for Deans's Wallabies.

"They're definitely getting closer and the All Blacks know they're breathing down their throat," he said.

"I suppose when I look at the Wallabies (of) two years ago, there were players like Will Genia who I'd never heard of.

"There were players like David Pocock I'd never heard about. I didn't know how good Benn Robinson was.

"In Benn Robinson, we have now got an extremely competitive scrum and when I think back to 2007 - the last World Cup - when we lost to England, it started and finished in the scrum.

"So you need to be able to set a platform. We can now set a competitive platform and we've got arguably the best backline, individually and hopefully collectively, going around.

"I'm very confident a year out from the World Cup that, if the guys just stick to treading in the right direction, building that all-important team spirit, are prepared to sacrifice for each other, then we're going to be right up there when the whips are cracking at the business end next year."

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