8:40 am on 9 September 2011

Under the guidance of coach Robbie Deans, the Wallabies are sure to be among the contenders for the Rugby World Cup title.

Winners twice before, the Wallabies will be wanting to improve on their last effort, going out in the quarter-finals to England.

Australia are one of the most successful teams with two titles, beaten finalists, beaten semi-finalists and beaten quarter-finalists twice.

Deans has assembled an exciting squad with some young stars in the backline while the forward pack contains plenty of experience.

Queensland Reds lock James Horwill has replaced Rocky Elsom as captain, while 92-Test back Matt Giteau was dropped, all but ending his international career.

Deans has also taken a gamble on the fitness of six players recovering from long-term injuries, including hooker Tatafu Polata-Nau, number eight Wycliff Palu, utility back Berrick Barnes and winger Drew Mitchell.

The seemingly ageless forward, Radike Samo, 35, is the feel-good story of the squad, named because of his versatility just 18 months after he thought he was washed up as a professional player following stints in France and Japan.

Australia will have no problems in their group with matches against Ireland, Italy, USA and Russia.

They are likely to meet Fiji, Wales or Samoa in the quarter-finals and could face England in the semi-finals if successful.