The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Wal­la­bies off but it’s no flight of fancy to them

- JAMIE PANDARAM

THE Wal­la­bies have flown out, con­fi­dent that the next time they are at Syd­ney Air­port they will be hold­ing the Wil­liam Webb El­lis tro­phy.

Michael Cheika’s squad is not fan­cied to win the World Cup but has enough tricks to worry teams that are.

Prop Sekope Kepu’s brother Sione, a Qan­tas em­ployee, donned a Wal­la­bies scarf and checked in play­ers.

Fi­jian fly­ers Te­vita Kuridrani and Henry Speight played small gui­tars, while Tatafu Polota-Nau talked up their singing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Will Skel­ton, the largest mem­ber of the Wal­la­bies’ tour­ing party which de­parted Syd­ney yesterday for its World Cup cam­paign in Eng­land via Chicago, grew up hop­ing to rep­re­sent New Zealand in rugby league.

Is­rael Fo­lau was a league star the last time a Rugby World Cup was played.

Matt Giteau was an un­wanted Wal­laby in 2011, but boarded the plane along­side three other play­ers who were over­seas-based this year – Drew Mitchell, Dean Mumm and Kane Dou­glas.

Greg Holmes had not played a Test since 2007 when Cheika called him into the squad this year.

Sean McMa­hon, 21, and charged with look­ing af­ter mas­cot Wally through­out the tour, was still at school dur­ing the last World Cup.

Aus­tralia will play the US in Chicago next Sun­day in their fi­nal prac­tice game.

 ??  ?? TOP-FLIGHT RUGBY: Wal­la­bies star Sekope Kepu (right) checks in at Syd­ney Air­port, helped by brother Sione.
TOP-FLIGHT RUGBY: Wal­la­bies star Sekope Kepu (right) checks in at Syd­ney Air­port, helped by brother Sione.

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