Timing is everything they say, and none more so for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who has had precious little time to train his squad in preparation for this Rugby World Cup. Graham Henry has commented that the Aussies weak point is their scrum, but we shall see as they have hired Mario Ledesma as their Scrum coach to sharpen them up. The Wallabies will be no doubt looking to avenge England’s last gasp world cup win when hosting in 2003.
Captain: Stephen Moore
Player to Watch: Israel Folou, who as full back must be contained by the opposing teams or will be dangerous given space. He will be looking forward to seeing George North again on 10th October!
Dates of Pool Matches:
Wednesday 23rd September vs Fiji – Kick off 16.45 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Sunday 27th September vs Uruguay – Kick off 12.00 – Villa Park, Birmingham
Saturday 3rd October vs England – Kick Off 20.00 – Twickenham
Saturday 10th October vs Wales – Kick off 16.45 – Twickenham
For more information on Australian Rugby – http://www.rugby.com.au
For full details follow: http://www.rugbyworldcup.com
What to Eat and Drink whilst watching the Wallabies.
Food: Throw another Prawn on the Barbie and all that! Aussies do brilliant BBQ’s and have some great beef as well as all the wonderful sea food. So a BBQ on match day would give it a Aussie buzz – maybe some beer marinated chicken wings or even some kangaroo steaks alongside the snags (sausages) and if you are doing burgers, remember to top them with a slice of beetroot! http://www.exoticmeats.co.uk
But as the great British weather cannot be relied upon, then other match day food could include Vegemite in any way! Try making some Damper bread (with cheese and chives for more flavour) – toasting and slathering with vegemite – simple but great comfort food! Odd story was released in August this year, where Vegemite is being used as the base to make Home Brew concoctions! Just don’t tell a Wallabies fan that marmite is the same as vegemite unless you want to cause more arguments than David Campese! The Macedemia nuts will be flying before you know it!
Another great match day food that would be typically Australian would be Fish & Chips – follow this link and find an outstanding independent Chippy near you http://www.fishandchipawards.com/finalists-and-winners/past-winners
Australian cuisine is so varied thanks to their immigrants and proximity to Asia – and some amazing world class restaurants especially in Melbourne – so don’t think the above is it for Australian food, it has an amazing food culture but sometimes for the match – comfort food it is! But to see how exciting it can be – have a peak at one of the most mouth -watering Foodie magazine there exists – http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au
To get hold of typical Aussie snacks try this on line store, http://www.australianfoodonline.co.uk who happen to sell an Australian delicacy that I’ve only come across recently – the Chocolate biscuit Tim Tam which apparently you buy the ends off and then drink your tea through the biscuit – sounds messy but for instructions see the way that Natalie Imbruglia does it on You Tube!
Beer: All the Australian wine makers I know seem to drink Coopers, from the eponymous family run brewery – http://www.coopers.com.au available from Majestic.
So I thought I’d ask an Aussie sports mad friend of mine what else you should be enjoying whilst watching the rugby. The answer was detailed….. “ James Squire, Little Creatures, Boags and Cascade are all good brands. The former two in particular are more known for their pale and golden ales than lager (much like Coopers, which of course you can’t go wrong with); the latter two more for lagers. Matilda Bay for stouts and steam beers, and Redback for wheat beer. Oh, for the best of the trad Aussie lagers, Crown Lager; and if you want to get really down to basics, VB (Victoria Bitter).” Thanks mate!
Wine: Australia has such a variety of climates that all styles of wine can, and are, produced within her borders. The Barossa valley with its Germanic Prussian influences is home to big powerful Shiraz but also blended together with Grenache and Mouvedre to give the now classic GSM blend. From the beautiful Clare Valley to the terra rossa (red soils) of Coonawarra for Cabernet Sauvignon packed with mint and blackcurrants. From the oldest of all the Aussie wine regions, the Hunter Valley with its’ delightful Semillons to the Yarra near Victoria with its cool climate. Not forgetting the beguiling Tasmania, a foodie heaven and home to sparkling wines Chardy & Pinot as well as the lovely Mornington Peninsular. A variety to suit all palates!
A crowd pleaser is the fruit packed Viognier from ebullient wine maker Bob Berton £8.99 – look out for his Vermentino when it’s back in stock and of course why not try his Willy Willy Shiraz which is a bargain at just £8.99 http://www.laithwaites.co.uk
Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon at £10 from http://www.marksandspencer.com is lovely unoaked fresh grapefruit with a hint of depth from the Semillon.
For good value, an amazing label and a title for all Pulp Fiction fans, do try Some Young Punks “Passion Has Red Lips” Cab Shiraz £11.99 from http://www.allaboutwine.co.uk
Something with more black fruit and great structure (from the Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot blend) for the Barbie would be Amy’s from great producer Moss Wood. £14.99 available at http://www.waitrose.com
Plus one to perhaps save for when Australia get through to the next round. Moorooduc Robinson Estate Pinot Noir from the fabulous Mornington Peninsular – heavenly luscious Pinot that goes so well with proper roasted Chicken or guinea fowl . £32 http://www.danddwineshop.com
For more information on Australian Wine – visit – http://www.wineaustralia.net.au