- Australia dealing well with high injury count
- Team are confident despite heavy defeat against France last weekend
Photo: Getty Images
Australia will beat England at Twickenham on Saturday according to former Australia international Michael Lynagh.
Despite injuries in the Wallabies’ squad and a 33-6 defeat to France last weekend, the World Cup winner believes his green and golds will edge out England.
Australia travelled to Europe without several key players, including captain David Pocock who is sidelined with a calf strain and suffered a further setback after second row Rob Simmons was served with an eight-week ban for a tip tackle on Yannick Nyanga against France.
Lynagh said “Australia are in a strange place where they have a lot of injuries but they're dealing with it pretty well. It's given exposure to guys who may not have got the games against such good opposition. So that’s going to increase our depth and experience of our squad.
“The new guys who have come in have really stood up under the leadership of Nathan Sharpe, who has done a wonderful job in leading the team and has been one of the great forwards for Australia over the winter."
Despite their disappointing result against France, Lynagh believes Australia’s draw against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup Test last month will give them a boost this weekend. He said: “New Zealand have played so well this year; nobody was expecting Australia to get close to winning. So to hold them to an 18-all draw against the mighty All Blacks who were going for a record number of wins, and play so well and with so much spirit, was an outstanding effort. It’ll give them a lot of confidence.”
England registered a famous 35-18 win against the Wallabies when they last played each other in 2010, but Lynagh believes it’s a different story now: “A lot of rugby has been played since, they’re different teams. Australia are low with all the injuries so it’s a good opportunity for England. Australia are playing away in what is supposed to be their off-season, so there are a lot of excuses. But they should throw those out the window and say what a wonderful opportunity it could be to have a famous victory against England at Twickenham. I’m predicting a 23-21 win. To Australia.”