World Cup 2015: Points difference key to Wales' fate - Campese

David Campese (R) lifts the Webb Ellis Cup with Australia scrum-half Nick Farr-Jones in 1991
David Campese (R) lifts the Webb Ellis Cup with Australia scrum-half Nick Farr-Jones in 1991
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Australia wing great David Campese has backed the Wallabies to qualify from a World Cup pool that also contains hosts England and Wales.

But Campese, 52, has warned that points difference could decide which two teams advance to the quarter-finals.

"I'm sure that the Wallabies will get out of the pool," Campese said.

"The top teams might lose a game each, so it's going to be interesting in the games against Uruguay and Fiji... the amount of points they can get."

Campese scored 64 tries in 101 Tests for Australia and was part of the side that lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 1991.

While he is backing his current crop of countrymen to do well in this World Cup, the 1992 World Player of the Year admits that Pool A will be a tricky group for all concerned.

Wales graphic

"It's going to be hard... there's the rivalry between the English and the Welsh as well so there's no easy game," Campese told BBC Wales Sport.

"Wales have got England at Twickenham, which is their home ground and is always going to be hard to beat.

"Fiji will probably be easier but we know what the Fijians can do... they'll be pretty hard to beat as well."

Australia will arrive at the World Cup as newly-crowned Rugby Championship winners and have not lost in 10 games to Wales, while England will have home advantage.

Even supposed minnows Fiji are not to be taken likely, as they come into the tournament having won the Pacific Nations Cup and with the pedigree of having knocked Wales out of the 2007 World Cup.

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Rugby World Cup fever in north Wales

"It doesn't matter how hard the pool is, if you want to be world champions you've got to beat the best so you may as well start from day one and play tough games," Campese said.

"It's a mental process when you get to World Cups and you realise you have one bad game and you're in big trouble.

"So the mental toughness is going to be a big part of the competition, I think that's why you'll find a lot of these coaches will go with experienced players, because that's what you need when the pressure's on."

Australia coach Michael Cheika has already named his final 31-man squad for the World Cup, omitting former captain James Horwill and ACT Brumbies scrum-half Nic White.

"It think he was looking for consistency and a bit of experience. The team he's got is not a bad squad but I'm sure he would have loved an extra year with them... but I think it's a pretty balanced squad.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Twickenham Stadium

"The Wallaby scrum is going to surprise a few teams in the World Cup.

"It's never really been bad, it's just always in the back of the mind that the scrum hasn't been up to scratch.

"We've got a good backline but now we've got a good platform to get the backline going."

Wales coach Warren Gatland will not name his final squad until 31 August, two days after a warm-up game against Ireland in Dublin, although he has already trimmed several players including British and Irish Lions Richard Hibbard, Mike Phillips and James Hook.

The first warm-up game against Ireland in Cardiff saw Wales lose 21-35, while they will have one last run-out against Italy on 5 September before beginning their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on 20 September.

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