Wallabies dare to dream of third World Cup win
November 26, 2014
Australia's James Slipper runs the ball, Australia v New Zealand, Bledicloe Cup, The Rugby Championship, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, August 17, 2013
James Slipper is ready to face England for the sixth time © Getty Images

Australia have lost five of their past six Tests, but still they hold realistic hopes of winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Wallabies vice-captain James Slipper says.

The Wallabies get another gauge of their progress under Michael Cheika when they play England at Twickenham on Saturday, in their final Test of a long season, and Slipper says they "want to be the first country to win three [Rugby World Cup finals]".

"But we're not looking too far ahead, and coming up against England is a good test for us to see where we're at," Slipper said.

Slipper made his debut for Australia against England in Perth four years ago, and he relishes every opportunity to resume the rivalry. The match on Saturday will be his sixth against England, the third at Twickenham.

"It's always special," said Slipper, who will make his 63rd Test appearance. "It's always a tough game, especially playing at Twickenham. It's a great venue and the crowd always gets behind their team.

"Coming into this week, it's our last game of what's been a long year for us … I can't imagine anything better than to finish it by playing well against England."

Slipper admits the sight of England lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy on Australian soil in 2003 lit a fire inside him that still burns, and he wants to return the favour by spoiling the party on British soil next year.

Wallabies expecting physical encounter at Twickenham

The prop was just 14 and watching on television with his parents on the Gold Coast when Jonny Wilkinson sunk Australian hearts with the winning drop goal in Sydney 11 years ago.

"I thought we had it in the bag but obviously the brilliance of Jonny Wilkinson to steal the show, especially playing in Australia, was hard to take," Slipper said. "I think not one Australian rugby fan has forgotten it."

The veteran prop believes the Wallabies hold realistic ambitions of adding to their 1991 and 1999 World Cup triumphs when they travel to Britain next year.

"You know Australians mate, we like to back the underdogs," Slipper said ahead of the Wallabies' tour finale at Twickenham. "I'm sure we are going to be underdogs coming into next year but, in saying that, we know we're doing the work, we're training pretty hard, and we've got the goal between the whole squad that we want to win it."


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