Wallaroos primed for blockbuster England showdown as quarter-finals for Rugby World Cup 2021 are confirmed

Sun, Oct 23, 2022, 5:39 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallaroos will play England in the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup 2021. Photo: Getty Images
The Wallaroos will play England in the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup 2021. Photo: Getty Images

The Wallaroos face the herculean task of knocking off world number one England as the quarter-finals are confirmed for Rugby World Cup 2021 (played in 2022).

Their destiny was booked on Sunday as the favourites cruised to a 75-0 victory over South Africa.

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The English are ranked third as a result of New Zealand and Canada managing to claim bonus points from all three of their pool games.

It sets up a fierce battle for the Wallaroos, tasked with doing something no team has managed since 2019 - defeat the Red Roses.

England have amassed a 28-game winning streak to establish itself as the team to beat in World Rugby.

However, Wallaroos assistant coach Scott Fava was excited by the challenge of being the one in 28-1 as they test themselves against the best.

“England are on a massive winning streak so they’re going to be a tough competitor,” he told Rugby.com.au

“They’ve played the game hard and have been very skilful, they’ve got a lot of good individuals that have paved the way for the success in the current competition.

“You’ve got to test yourself against the best in the world and if we can go up against them with a bit of fire like we did against Wales, it’s a similar game style so who knows, it’s a knockout competition so the pressure cooker comes in each of these encounters and we just need to see if we are the ones to come out here on top.”

Fava pointed to a similar level of pressure on the Black Ferns to open the tournament and how they were able to harness it to race out to a 17-0 lead in front of a packed Eden Park.

“We went into the first game against New Zealand laying down the foundations that they were coming into their first World Cup at home, 40,000 at Eden Park, if we come out blasting we can actually put pressure on this group,” he explained.

“We almost got there so if we can come into it with a similar gameplan against England, one that’s built on the fact we’ve been playing knockout football for the past two weeks, we’ve got nothing to lose.

“We’re coming into this knockout stage against one of the best teams in the world so we’ll make sure the pressure is not on us and we’ll put it on them."

The game will be played on Sunday in Auckland, set to be followed by Canada once again facing the USA after the Canadians held on for a 29-14 win on Sunday.

The quarter-finals will kick off with France taking on Italy, after Le Azzurre held off Japan 21-8 to become the first Italian side to qualify for the quarter-finals at any Rugby World Cup, whilst New Zealand take on Wales in another Pool rematch, with the Black Ferns cruising to a 56-12 victory.

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2021 QUARTER-FINALS

*all times local

Saturday, Oct 29 - Northland Events Centre, Whangarei

France (4) v Italy (5), 4:30 pm

New Zealand (1) v Wales (8), 7:30 pm

Sunday, Oct 30, Waitākere Stadium, Auckland

England (3) v Australia (6), 1:30 pm

Canada (2) v United States (7), 4:30 pm

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