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Rugby World Cup 2015

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THEY are the new Wallabies’ foreign intelligence service and they’re willing to divulge all secrets to help secure World Cup glory.

An unprecedented four players in Michael Cheika’s World Cup squad named on Friday spent the majority of 2015 playing in Europe: Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Dean Mumm and Kane Douglas.

At the start of the year none would have been considering a recall but amendments to Wallabies’ eligibility laws by the ARU mid-year saw all that change.

Giteau and Mitchell earned selection while based overseas via the new 60-Test criteria, and Mumm and Douglas both qualified courtesy of them signing on to play Super Rugby in 2016.

The quartet have not only become members of the Webb Ellis Cup campaign, but due to their collective IP on European rugby and World Cup rivals, extremely valuable squad members.

Giteau and Mitchell (Toulon, France), Mumm (Exeter, England) and Douglas (Leinster, Ireland) have been immersed in northern hemisphere rugby for the majority of this World Cup cycle.

They possess insight, advice and even trade secrets of Australia’s World Cup pool rivals, even on individual player basis.

Mumm’s knowledge of English set-piece tradecraft will be priceless, and from playing at multicultural Toulon, Giteau and Mitchell have teammates from many rival nations. The duo know well the art of winning in Europe, too, having helped claim the European Cup several times in massive finals.

But it is not just the players. Cheika’s coaching career has been mostly in Europe (Leinster, Stade Francais), and so too Argentinian scrum coach Mario Ledesma, who played and coached in France until last year.

It is the type of World Cup advantage never possessed by Australia before.

“You understand, most importantly, the mentality of how they go about things and the way they like to play,” Mumm said.

“You can particularly understand that mentality from a set-piece point of view and how important it is. As well as Cheik and Mario, who have that European experience as well.

“You start to build that into the way you train and you realise that set-piece is such a huge element in Test football, but even more so in the north and to get into that mentality of applying pressure.”

Mumm was so highly regarded as a lock at Exeter he was named as captain of the UK Premiership’s Team of the 2014-15 season. He has spent the last three years poring over line out footage of English Test rivals like Tom Wood, Geoff Parling, Chris Robshaw and Dave Atwood.

Story courtesy of FOX Sport

For full guide to this year’s RWC click HERE

 

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