Skelton looking for lineout improvement
August 24, 2015
Cheika omits James Horwill and Nic White

Towering Wallabies lock Will Skelton is working overtime to improve his lineout jumping ahead of next month's Rugby World Cup. The big-hitting Skelton knows the set-piece, as ever, will be crucial in the UK and it's an area he is desperate to better in.

"I think I can be a quality jumper and really bring that skill for my teammates," Skelton told AAP. "I'm working very hard with my fellow locks and the coaching staff on that."

Skelton, who is 204cm and about 145kg, is one of four specialist locks in a squad that boasts a couple of excellent lineout technicians in Rob Simmons and Dean Mumm.

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The Wallabies play the United States in Chicago on September 5 before opening their World Cup campaign against Fiji 18 days later in Cardiff. Skelton says the trip to the Windy City will be anything but a holiday for the Wallabies with coach Michael Cheika calling the shots.

"It's a great chance for us as a group to get even tighter," he said. "We're just looking forward to ripping in over the next few weeks. Cheik trains us very hard and guys are going to be wanting spots. It's about keeping us accountable in our positions and working hard as a collective."

The recent drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup decider hurt the Wallabies, but only momentarily, according to Skelton.

"Our confidence took a hit. It wasn't result we wanted but it wasn't our end goal is the World Cup and that's what we are working on," he said.

Mumm sees value in UK experience

It's not just the set-piece where Skelton is looking to improve.

"I'm just trying to close out games more. I started a few games this year and moving forward, I want to finish those and be more consistent over the full 80 minutes," he said.

Skelton can't wait to tackle Fiji in the World Cup opener and knows the Wallabies will face a stern Test.

"They are a great group of players," he said. "They're the real livewires of the rugby world and they'll be throwing the ball around and I'm really looking forward to battling them."

Will Skelton is one of four locks in the Wallabies' World Cup squad © Getty Images
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