Wallabies take on England in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal

Power: The Wallabies during their group stage clash with Uruguay on Saturday, October 5. Photo: RugbyAU Media/Stuart Walmsley
Power: The Wallabies during their group stage clash with Uruguay on Saturday, October 5. Photo: RugbyAU Media/Stuart Walmsley

Underwhelming.

That's how former Wallabies captain Simon Poidevin described the Wallabies' performances so far in the Rugby World Cup.

Underwhelming.

If the Wallabies want to win their quarterfinal against England at Oita Stadium on Saturday, October 19, the 1991 World Cup winner said their skill levels, discipline and execution would need to be better.

The first group game against Fiji was tough, but their class shone through.

"It was a tough game, but we eventually knuckled down and won that comfortably," Poidevin said.

Next up was a four point loss to Wales, but the Australians did play their best half of football all tournament.

"Against Wales, we started very slowly, but our second half was excellent," the 60-year-old said.

We can't kick random balls back to England because their back three are very fast, very elusive and very good players.

Michael Cheika

"We need to play like we did in the second half and even better against England if we are to have any chance of winning."

Uruguay was a breeze in the end, but Georgia was anything but.

"I know it was raining when we played Georgia, but our skill levels [weren't up to scratch]," he said.

"There were way too many dropped balls and way too many inaccurate passes."

While Poidevin pointed out many deficiencies, he did manage to pluck out some positives from what he had seen from the side.

"Set pieces have been good and so have our line outs and scrums," the former flanker said.

"Defence for the most part has been solid."

Now there's no more room for error. Lose and they're out.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has a few tough decisions to make ahead of the quarterfinal with England, including deciding who dons the number 10 jersey. Photo: RugbyAU Media/Stuart Walmsley.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has a few tough decisions to make ahead of the quarterfinal with England, including deciding who dons the number 10 jersey. Photo: RugbyAU Media/Stuart Walmsley.

England rightfully head into the quarter final as favourites, so what needs to be done to cause an upset?

"Our scrum needs to hold up with their scrum and we need to win our line outs," Poidevin said.

"We've got to then execute and hang on to the ball.

"We can't kick random balls back to England because their back three are very fast, very elusive and very good players.

"We need to starve them of the ball, be brutal in our defence and be very disciplined, especially when we're trying to get out of our own half.

"Whoever plays in the number 10 jersey, I hope it's Matt Toomua, will have to step up.

"Our front row are also going to be an absolute key."

Rory Arnold and Marika Koribeti have stood out for the Wallabies, but the latter will need support on the wing, or trouble could loom.

"Rory Arnold has been phenomenal," he said.

"Korobeti on the wing has been one of the best back line players, but England will be targeting with the higher ball.

"We need to think of strategies to make sure he's not isolated when the high ball goes his way."

The old foe's final group game against a handy French side was called off due to Typhoon Hagibis and Poidevin believes the Wallabies' extra match fitness is an advantage.

"There's nothing like playing fitness," he said.

"We've had to play a lot of tough rugby unlike England.

"Often, coming through the hard road is a better way to go than the soft road."

There's no urn at stake, but will the Wallabies break their six game losing streak against the English, or will there be a Jonny Wilkinson-esque situation all over again in this Ashes-like contest.

Kickoff at 6.15pm AEST.