Article

Pocock relishes Rugby World Cup test

4 December 2012 01:06

Australian flanker David Pocock is excited by the prospect of facing 2015 Rugby World Cup hosts England in the pool stage of the tournament.

The Wallabies were dealt a rough draw on Tuesday which will see them face England and Wales in the preliminary rounds.

Making those tasks seemingly harder is that Australia will most likely have to take those countries on at their respective home grounds of Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium.

"I am pretty excited about it. Yes it is a tough pool but there are not any easy pools in the competition," Pocock said.

"Drawing the hosts will obviously add a lot of excitement and hype around that game and as a player it is something to look forward to.

"It is going to be huge, looking at the way the Olympics was hosted and talking to people who travelled here from Australia to be part of it, it was a good show and it will be no different at the home of rugby and it will be fun."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans suggested his team's match-ups against England and Wales would be some of the more highly-anticipated clashes of the tournament.

"Obviously to draw the host nation of England and Wales, (who) you could arguably suggest are the secondary host, will create a lot of interest," Deans said.

"It is going to be a great tournament when it comes around. We have seen an insight into some of the excitement around the room today after the announcement but from the perspective of coaches and players it is a long way off."

Deans said the continual improvement of international teams meant the 2015 World Cup could be the toughest yet.

"There is no such thing as an easy pool at a World Cup and it wasn't long ago that the suggestion was made that 20 teams was too many but that clearly is not the case and the margins in the national game are now very small and you cannot presume anything," Deans said.

"The other thing you are conscious of when you enter a World Cup is to win it you have got to beat the best."

England captain Chris Robshaw is also well aware of the challenging task at hand for his nation in Pool A.

"Of course it's going to be a tough group but if you look at all the groups, they are all tough," he said.

"That's the beauty of the World Cup that it is the best teams in the world and it is that prestigious tournament that everyone loves to play in.

"It's why the fans the love it - teams go out there and battle against each other, they get involved as well."

Robshaw stressed the importance of being switched on from the first whistle at the sport's marquee event.

"It's about making sure we hit the ground running from game one. You look at a tournament like the World Cup and you don't have any time to warm up into it," Robshaw said.

"I think the first job with stuff like is, is to make sure you get out of the group."

Meanwhile, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre is relieved at the draw, which puts his team in Pool D.

"Of course all the groups are very hard to play, rugby is developing around the world and there are at least 12 teams able to win against whoever," he said.

"However it is true that Pool A with Australia , England and Wales is the death group, and I am glad to avoid it.

"I also think we have a difficult group with Ireland and Italy, it s kind of a remake of the six nations.

"The important thing for us will be to go through in first place, in order to avoid All Blacks in the quarter finals."

Pool B consists of South Africa, Samoa and Scotland, Pool C contains New Zealand, Argentina and Tonga while Pool D features France, Italy and Ireland.

The World Cup kicks off on September 18, 2015, with the final at Twickenham on October 31.

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