Retaining Top 4 Ranking Wallabies Goal Against England

Desperate to avoid drawing New Zealand at the 2015 World Cup, Australia must win in England to maintain their top four world ranking.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Maintaining the Wallabies top four ranking will be top priority when their European tour moves from Paris to Twickenham this Saturday where they take on England.

Wins, and more importantly rankings, are what is at stake heading into the 2015 World Cup in the UK, but the challenging matchup this weekend and the tough loss from last weekend have combined to create fears that Australia will fall from the top four of the IRB world rankings.

The Wallabies suffered an embarrassing 33-6 loss to France in Paris last Sunday and fell from second to third in the world rankings. Another failure in England, along with France beating Argentina, would see the Aussies fall all the way down to fifth- a spot considered a death trap for the World Cup.

The goal of all World Cup contenders is to finish no lower than fourth enabling them to play in a pool without having to see dominant New Zealand early on. The fifth ranked team would have a 25 per cent chance of landing in the same group as the Kiwis.

Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says his side have mentally recovered from last week’s slaughter and will face England with a confident mind-set.

"The disappointment was on Saturday. It's good to see the transition from that to preparing accordingly against England," he said.

"It's gone and now there is a new challenge.

"Everyone is keen to get out there, get the boots on and get into each other."

There are some injury concerns. David Pocock won’t reclaim his reclaim his starting flanker spot after failing to recover from an injury sustained against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup. Michael Hooper will man the spot in his absence.

Second-rower Kane Douglas will also miss with a knee injury, however his mother suffered a stroke flying from Australia to London and is currently in hospital. He was by her side yesterday and did not train.

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