WC 2003 - Having lapped cricket, Aussies now eye Rugby WC

Published: Sunday, February 16, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Australians awoke on Monday to the news their cricketers had won a record third World Cup overnight in South Africa and quickly set their sites on victory later this year when their nation hosts the Rugby World Cup. "I think it augurs well for us," beamed Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill after Australia's 125-run win over India in a match in Johannesburg that ended at around 2:30 am Australia time.O'Neill said key rugby officials had travelled to South Africa to watch the winning ways of the unbeaten cricketers and their coach John Buchanan. "The relationship between Australian rugby and cricket is very close -- we've had quite a few people over there with the team getting a few insights from John Buchanan," he said."Things like the preparation of the team, team discipline, team harmony, keeping your feet on the ground -- the way they went about their business," he said.Australia's Wallabies face a tougher test when the Rugby World Cup kicks off on October 10, with a number of strong teams vying for the trophy. Meanwhile officials said a public reception would be held for the returning cricketers on Tuesday in the western city of Perth.But the players are then expected to return to their respective towns without further team celebrations in order to rest up ahead of Australia's next Test series in the Caribbean starting April 10, team officials said.In a radio interview from Johannesburg, Buchanan was already looking to the future. "Obviously at the moment we do most things that everbody else does probably a little bit better and do that more consistently than what other teams are doing," he said.But he quickly added, "There are lots of things we can probably do (better), but that takes time."Copyright AFP 2001

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