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Horwill: Past no guide

Australia captain James Horwill insists history will count for nothing when the Wallabies meet South Africa in the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.

The Australians have won five of their last six Test matches against the Springboks, stretching back to September 2009. But Queensland lock Horwill said those results would be irrelevant when the teams stepped onto the turf at Wellington Regional Stadium this weekend.

"Everyone has spoken about the fact that this is different," Horwill said. "World Cups are different. It's a tournament. It's knockout. This is it. You can put all history behind you. This is a game we need to win. It's a quarter-final against the Springboks. It's a huge occasion."

Past results may be irrelevant but the game plan used to bring about those victories is certainly something the Wallabies will not be throwing away.

Horwill does not expect the expansive, counter-attacking nature of the backline to be reined in too much, with the likes of Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper given licence to play what is in front of them rather than to a prescriptive plan.

"We want our players to take opportunities when we see them. That's the way we've always been," the 26-year-old.

"If someone sees an opportunity they need to take it and make the most of it. It's the same with any game we play.

"But knowing this is a big stage and the intensity and pressure is going to step up another level, we understand that, and we'll prepare accordingly."

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