Australian rugby players trained in a positive mood on Wednesday (October 14) ahead of their Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Scotland at Twickenham on Sunday, despite being without the injured David Pocock and Israel Folau.
Earlier in the day, head coach Michael Cheika confirmed that centre Matt Giteau would be fit for Sunday’s (October 18) clash – his 100th Test – but that he was still waiting on the fitness of Pocock and Folau.
Back row Pocock has been one of the stars of the tournament so far, securing three turnovers in Australia’s victory over England at Twickenham earlier in the pool stages.
Full back Folau, one of the stars of southern hemisphere rugby, has failed to kick-start his world cup as he struggles with ankle problems.
Hooker and captain Stephen Moore, like Giteau, will win his 100th cap on Sunday.
Giteau, 33, and Moore, 32, are two of the relatively young Australia squad’s most experienced players.
Cheika himself has won acclaim from across the rugby world for the way he has turned around the Australian team since taking over a year ago.
Since then, the Australians have defeated arch rivals New Zealand, won the Rugby Championship and gone unbeaten in this year’s world cup.
Australia go into Sunday’s match as clear favourites, but will have to be wary of a Scottish side left angry following the three-week suspension of forwards Ross Ford and Jonny Gray for dangerous play.