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‘People are upset’: Wallaby reflects on perfect start to World Cup

By Finn Morton
Taniela Tupou of Australia walks out for the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Georgia at Stade de France on September 09, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Australia put the ‘W’ back in Wallabies on Saturday evening as they brought an end to a disastrous losing streak under coach Eddie Jones.


Playing against Georgia in their Rugby World Cup opener, the Wallabies’ dominance at the set-piece set the tone for an emphatic 35-15 win at Stade de France.

Front-rowers Taniela Tupou and Angus Bell made their mark against a traditionally strong Georgian scrum, and captain Will Skelton led by example around the field of play.

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An inexperienced Australian outfit has, finally, reaped the fruits of their labour after gruelling training camps under coach Eddie Jones. The Wallabies are “back in the winners’ circle” for the first time since November.

“We had a game plan and we came out and delivered it. Coming off five losses, we have got to be grateful for the win,” prop Tupou told reporters. “It is good to be back in the winners’ circle.

“We understand why people are upset. Everybody wants to win but with the young team we have, we are trying to put together a winning combination while the players are getting used to each other.”

The Wallabies struggled during The Rugby Championship against South Africa in Pretoria, Argentina in Sydney and New Zealand in Melbourne. With an 0-3 record, it didn’t get any easier for them ahead of the sports showpiece event.


Australia were beaten by the All Blacks in the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin, and lost to France in their final Rugby World Cup warm-up match late last month.

But Jones has never doubted his team and the direction that they’re heading in. While many fans were willing to write off the Aussies, the “confident” coach continued to search for the answer.

“We’ve always been confident about where we’re doing,” Jones said after the match.

“We’ve seen how hard the players have worked and you don’t come out and play like that at the start if you’re not confident.”


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