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England v Australia: A World Cup rivalry like no other in sport

| 03.10.2015

England face Australia in a game that defines the “must-win” tag at Twickenham on Saturday night or else the hosts of the 2015 Rugby World Cup will be reduced to onlookers once the Pool phase of the tournament has concluded.

The dramatic defeat to Wales in Pool A has left Stuart Lancaster’s side teetering, but if any rivalry in sport can stir fire in English bellies to attain the victory they so desperately need, then it’s a collision against Australia – priced at 4/5 with Ladbrokes,

England have actually defeated the Australians the last two times they have faced the Wallabies on the World Cup stage, once in the quarter finals in 2011 and the other shouldn’t need much introduction.

Immortalised by that Jonny Wilkinson drop-goal in the dying embers of the 2003 finale, the Red Rose claimed the greatest prize in rugby union in Australia’s back yard.

Back to the present and under Lancaster’s guidance, England have also defeated their fiercest southern hemisphere foes in the last two Tests and in four of five.

Chickens, however, will not be getting counted by anyone in the English camp, against Michael Cheika’s dangerous side, who’ve got a recent scalp of the all-conquering All-Blacks to their name this year.

And, as you can tell from this graphical breakdown of World Cups across three separate sports, this unique cross-hemisphere beef, has a fair bit of history behind it.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.