Ahead of Australia’s quarter-final contest with England this Saturday, former Wallabies winger Lote Tuqiri has stressed that Michael Cheika’s side need to start well.

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The winger, who scored the opening try of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, has also predicted on Twitter that the Wallabies will win by six points.

This is a bold prediction from Tuqiri seeing as the Wallabies have lost all six matches against Eddie Jones’ England, and last beat them at the 2015 RWC.

Then again, the two-time world champions showed that they have a world class performance in them against the All Blacks earlier this year, with their record 47-26 win against them in Perth.

The key to that victory against Steve Hansen’s side in August was that Australia made a strong start, something they have struggled to do thus far in the RWC.

In the Wallabies’ two toughest games of the pool stages this year, against Fiji and Wales, they went in at half time trailing. They mounted comebacks in both games and won the second half, and while that was enough to get them over the line against Fiji, they fell short against Warren Gatland’s Wales.

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Tuqiri vs England

Tom Varndell turning Lote Tuquiri inside out in Australia (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In contrast, over the past 18 months England have surged to early leads against Wales and Scotland in the Six Nations, against the All Blacks last autumn and twice against South Africa in the 2018 June series. On all of those occasions, they failed to win, only managing a draw against Scotland.

Of course, there have been plenty of games where they have started well and come away with a victory, but it has probably been the biggest weakness of Jones’ side in recent years.

This lends itself to a compelling match, where Australia will want to quel a rampant England in the first quarter of the game, something they failed to do against Wales earlier on in the pool stage. That is why it is so important to Tuqiri to start well, and should they be able to do so, it will go a long way to recording a surprising upset. However, if England do rush to an early lead, it will be a case of whether Owen Farrell and his side can fend off an inevitable fightback.

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