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Don’t count Australia out just yet, says Nick Phipps

Former Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps has backed Australia before they head into the knockout stages of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

After Friday night’s disappointing 27-8 win over Georgia where the Wallabies looked sluggish, many pundits have seemed to put the red line through Australia’s hopes at lifting the Webb Ellis trophy for a third time.

However, as the Wallabies have limped into the Quarter-finals with less than convincing wins, Phipps told Julian King and Tom Morris that he sees this as a huge advantage for Australia before they face the old enemy, England.

“Let’s not forget, England have not had a tough game yet. They’ve had two easy pool games and then the Argentinian game where someone got red carded fifteen minutes in. So, if I was them I would be a bit worried,” Phipps said.

“Australia have had a lot of hard games and they have had to work for a lot of their wins. Even with last night it was a perfect hit out for the forward pack.”

England have won the past six matches against Australia, with the Wallabies last win coming at the pool stages of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a game in which Phipps played in. And with Australia having their backs against the wall, Phipps believes now is the perfect time to repeat those same heroics.

“It’s going to be physical and you’ve got to have your set piece right but Australia have had to work hard to get into this Quarter-final and England haven’t really been tested yet,” Phipps said.

“And with the two week break now, in any sport if a team gets that extra week off they often come back sluggish that next match.”

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