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Wallabies can win World Cup, say past winners

Sydney - Australia have uncovered the attacking blueprint needed to overcome a woeful away record and win next year's Rugby World Cup, according to the masterminds of the Wallabies' first World Cup triumph.

Bob Dwyer and Nick Farr-Jones, the coach and captain of the champion 1991 squad in England, believe the Wallabies' fighting loss to the All Blacks last weekend proved they have the capability to claim a third World Cup.

From the IOL website

But they say the Wallabies need to address some key issues before lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy in Paris on October 20 next year.

"Before the All Blacks game, we weren't given a chance of being much of a threat at the World Cup, but after last week they are a reasonable chance of winning it," Dwyer told the Sunday Telegraph.

'We showed we had courage to try to win the game'

"We showed we had courage to try to win the game. It was a significant step forward."

Farr-Jones said: "I did say after their overseas tour last year that I didn't think the Wallabies had time to rebuild and recover for the World Cup. But I've changed my view.

"New Zealand used to have daylight on the other teams but I think we've caught up a lot."

The Wallabies, against their four major rivals - New Zealand, South Africa, England and France - have played 20 Tests away from home in the past five years and won twice, against England 21-19 at Twickenham in 2004 and New Zealand 23-15 in Dunedin in 2001.

"Traditionally, we haven't struggled on the road - we've won two World Cups away from home... I don't think it's a major issue," Dwyer said.

'It's definitely a confidence thing'

"France are the only home team (in the 2007 World Cup)."

Farr-Jones said the Wallabies needed to believe they could win away from home.

"We need to change the culture and develop (the kind of) mindset that the All Blacks have developed. It's definitely a confidence thing," he told the newspaper.

One of the Wallabies' apparent weaknesses is their scrum with coach John Connolly replacing open-side prop Greg Holmes with young New South Wales Waratahs prop Benn Robinson in a 25-man squad to travel to South Africa next week in an attempt to fix his mis-firing scrum.

John Eales, who skippered the Wallabies to the 1999 World Cup triumph, said: "We will have a serviceable scrum for the World Cup. Look at our last front row that won it (in 1999). Andrew Blades, Michael Foley, Richard Harry... two years before that World Cup, none of them were regulars in the Test team. A lot can change quickly."

Farr-Jones said: "The scrum needs to get stronger. But if we get the scrum right, we can beat anyone on our day."

Dwyer said he has been encouraged by the increasing adventure of the Wallabies' attack.

"Some say if you can't kick you can't win the World Cup in the northern hemisphere, but we've seen more adventure from this team and that is how we can win it," he said.

"I was a bit worried a couple of weeks ago (against South Africa), but we've worked it out now. It has never been in our psyche to play negative."