Australia heading to University of Bath in high spirits ahead of Rugby World Cup

10 September 2015

Australia already have two Rugby World Cup wins to their name – and they will be honing their preparations for a third crown at the University of Bath next week.

The £30million Sports Training Village is the official Team Base for the Wallabies, who will utilise the venue’s world-class training and sports science facilities ahead of their opening match of the 2015 tournament against Fiji on Wednesday, September 23.

Australia will arrive in the UK on Monday fresh from winning a first Rugby Championship in four years following home victories over Argentina, South Africa and defending world champions New Zealand.

That has moved the Wallabies back up to second in the world rankings, having dropped to sixth earlier in the year, and continued an impressive turnaround in fortunes following the appointment of Michael Cheika as Head Coach ten months ago.

He was the third person to take on the role in just over a year but has restored stability and confidence to the national team following a run of poor results on the pitch and controversy off it.

Cheika will be assisted by Stephen Larkham and Nathan Grey, who were both members of the Australian squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 1999. The Wallabies’ other success came the last time England staged the tournament in 1991.

Australia are captained by hooker Stephen Moore, while former skippers David Pocock and Michael Hooper – rated as one of the best openside flankers in the world – provide experience and leadership in the back row.

A decision taken this year to allow overseas-based players with more than 60 caps to be selected has seen Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell return to the squad, fresh from helping Toulon win the European Rugby Champions Cup.

They are part of an exciting back line which also features explosive full-back Israel Folau, a rugby league convert who has scored 18 tries in 33 tests – including two on his debut against the British & Irish Lions.

Last month, the 26-year-old became the first player to win back-to-back John Eales medals as Australia’s Player of the Year.

Australia warmed up for the Rugby World Cup by beating USA Eagles 47-10 in Chicago last weekend.

They will compete in Pool A, dubbed the group of death as it also includes England and Wales as well as Fiji and Uruguay. Only two teams will progress to the knock-out stages.

Both England and Wales have players with University of Bath links in Rob Webber and Dominic Day respectively. The Bath Rugby duo both coach with Bath University Rugby Club.

Click here for details of how Australia’s training schedule could affect Team Bath gym members.

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