Wallabies take aim at Wilkinson support - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies take aim at Wilkinson support

By Melissa Woods 20/11/2003 09:19:27 PM Comments (0)

The Wallabies know they have to stop England's strike weapon Jonny Wilkinson to win the Rugby World Cup, but he's hardly rated a mention in their game plan for Saturday's final.

The superboot five-eighth is crucial to England's success, contributing all his team's points in its 24-7 semi-final win over France last Sunday.

However, Jones revealed that the defending champions haven't focused on shutting down the 24-year-old in the Telstra Stadium decider between the great rivals.

"We've probably spent less time looking at Wilkinson than any other player," Jones said following the side's arrival in Sydney from its Coffs Harbour training base.

"What's significant about England is the players around Wilkinson. They work to get him into position to convert field position into points.

"Certainly we respect him greatly as a player but he's just converting pressure and field position and possession and points."

The Wallabies have recognised the only way to nullify the 24-year-old is to win the battle against the veteran English forwards.

While Jones says his young bulls have "no fear", they are vastly inexperienced with a combined 166 caps compared England's Six Nations champion pack, who have jointly played 375 Tests.

The ploy worked against the highly-rated New Zealand pack in last Saturday's 22-10 semi-final, when the Wallabies applied pressure to All Blacks playmaker Carlos Spencer and forced him into errors by out-muscling the New Zealand pack.

"It's going to depend on the forward contest," Jones said.

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