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We can upset Wallabies - D'Arcy

Gordon D'Arcy refuses to be in thrall to Australia, claiming belief is the key to Ireland defying expectations at Eden Park on Saturday.

Victory over the Wallabies would all but clear Irish passage into the knockout stages of the World Cup with Italy the final major hurdle to negotiate. The odds are heavily stacked against them, however, with Australia positioned as the tournament's second favourites and Ireland's plans disrupted by a tournament-ending injury to Jerry Flannery.

"I think we're capable of beating Australia. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think so," said the Leinster centre. "We can do as much video and prepare as best as we can, but if you don't believe you're already on the back foot."

Flannery had been pushing starting hooker Rory Best hard after some impressive substitute appearances but will now be flying home to be replaced by Damien Varley, with Sean Cronin moving up to the bench.

Ireland laboured to a 22-10 win against the United States in their Pool C opener last Sunday, with Australia crushing Italy 32-6.

The form book points to a routine assignment for Robbie Deans' side, but D'Arcy refuses to consider anything other than a stunning upset and added: "Belief is a massive, massive thing in sport. You must have belief in yourself and the belief in the guys around you.

"I believe that across the board we can match and beat them.

"Australia are the form team coming into the World Cup. We wouldn't underestimate them at all.

"Quade Cooper is one of the outstanding backs in the world this year. Pat McCabe has given them that directness they've been looking for.

"Adam Ashley-Cooper has been phenomenal. They are a very good team and it would be foolish to think otherwise. But in the same breath there's no point me saying I don't think we can beat them. We can't put them on a pedestal."


From Belfast Telegraph