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Wallabies are not obsessed with the top cup seedings

Date

Steve Jancetic

Nathan Sharpe will farewell the Wallabies after this tour.

Nathan Sharpe will farewell the Wallabies after this tour. Photo: Getty Images

WALLABIES coach Robbie Deans says he is conscious of but not obsessed with protecting Australia's top-four ranking during the spring tour of the northern hemisphere.

The Wallabies on Saturday jetted out for Paris for next weekend's tour opener against France, the first Test of a tough schedule that will include dates with Italy, England and Six Nations champion Wales.

Ranked second behind World Cup holder New Zealand, the Wallabies head overseas knowing that they need a good tour to protect their seeding for the 2015 World Cup, the draw for which will be made based on rankings on December 3.

England, France and Wales are fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, with any team outside the protected top four facing the possibility of a dreaded early showdown with the all-powerful All Blacks.

Asked whether the Tests would carry extra significance because of the fact World Cup seedings were up for grabs, Deans said: ''Seedings are important, but no more so than the fact they are Test matches.

''That's the byproduct - we won't be dwelling on that fact.

''In the background, I guess we're conscious of the fact it's an important stretch.''

This makes the opening tussle against the French at Stade de France (Sunday, November 11 AEDT) all the more important.

Buoyed by their last-start 18-18 draw with the All Blacks in Brisbane, Deans said the meeting with Les Bleus would set the tone for the tour.

''The first one is key for us,'' Deans said at Sydney Airport ahead of the side's departure.

''The French have already expressed how important it is to them. We're playing on Armistice weekend, so history suggests they will play out of their skins on that basis.

''And it's our first outing, so it's very important that we get off to a good start.

''If we do, it will be a real fillip for the group.''

Wallabies skipper Nathan Sharpe - on his final tour before retirement - said he was looking at exiting on a high by going through the tour undefeated.

It would be a significant achievement considering Australia has not had an unbeaten four-Test spring tour since 1996.

''It doesn't happen very often,'' Deans said of perfect tours.

''That's obviously what we aspire to - we'll enter every Test looking to win it.'' AAP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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