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‘We’ve come up short’: Will Skelton’s heartfelt message for Wallabies fans

By Finn Morton
Will Skelton of Australia consoles Jordan Petaia of Australia at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Wallabies are hurting. You could hear it in captain Will Skelton’s voice as the towering lock shared a heartfelt message of thanks following Australia’s disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign.

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With coach Eddie Jones at the helm, the Wallabies failed to make it past the pool stage at the sport’s showpiece event for the first time ever.

The Wallabies were winless from five starts coming into the tournament, and while the young squad managed to kick off their campaign with a win over Georgia in Paris, their dreams of a quarter-final berth took a hit against the Flying Fijians and Wales.

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Fiji beat the Wallabies for the first time since 1954 as they took control of their own destiny with two pool games to play. Australia needed to beat Warren Gatland’s Wales a week later and didn’t just pull up short, they fell to a record World Cup defeat.

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There was quite a sombre feeling at OL Stadium in Lyon as the full-time whistle sounded on that fateful Sunday night. The Wallabies had lost 40-6 which left their campaign in tatters.

While Portugal offered the Wallabies a glimmer of hope against Fiji last weekend, the Pacific Islanders did enough as they sailed into the knockout stages for the first time since 2007.

The Wallabies have shared a video on social media with captain Will Skelton narrating over clips of despair, sadness and disappointment from the campaign that was. Skelton thanked fans for support after the Wallabies came “up short of our own expectations.”

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“On behalf of the team I want to thank you, the people who came to the games, watched us on TV and supported us from afar,” Skelton said.

“Wearing the gold jersey comes with a great responsibility, we always want to do our country proud. We’ve worked hard, we’ve believed in each other, but we’ve come up short of our own expectations.

Knockout

New Zealand
South Africa
11 - 12
Final
Argentina
New Zealand
6 - 44
SF1
England
South Africa
15 - 16
SF2
Wales
Argentina
17 - 29
QF1
Ireland
New Zealand
24 - 28
QF2
England
Fiji
30 - 24
QF3
France
South Africa
28 - 29
QF4

“Thank you to everyone who’s been with us along the way. To those that welcomed us in Arnhem Land and the Northern Territory, to those who wished us well while we trained and to those who farewelled us in Sydney.

“Our experience this year will make us better players, better men. We’re a young team, eight of us are new Wallabies. We will have a lot more to give.

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“We have a long journey ahead and we’ll continue to ask for your support. We believe in the depth in our squad and the young players across the country, all of us competing for the greatest honour of all: to represent our country on the world stage.

“We’ve learned a lot about where we’re at as a team, we’ve learned a lot about each other and what it takes to achieve our goal. We’ve never been more motivated, more driven to make you proud.

“Thanks again for all your support and look forward to seeing you next year.”

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