England boss Sarina Wiegman hits back at Australia and issues refusal ahead of Women's World Cup showdown

England Sarina Wiegman Australia Womens World Cup

England boss Sarina Wiegman has hit back at Australia ahead of Women's World Cup clash

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 15/08/2023

- 09:14

Updated: 27/08/2023

- 16:36

The Lionesses are hoping to make the final of the competition

England boss Sarina Wiegman has hit back at Australia dubbing themselves underdogs ahead of Wednesday's Women's World Cup clash.

The Lionesses will be hoping to make the final when they step out at the Stadium Australia.

Prior to the contest, Australia boss Tony Gustavsson has claimed England are the favourites to reign supreme.

Yet Wiegman doesn't think that's the case and has now fired back.

England Sarina Wiegman Australia

England boss Sarina Wiegman is eager for the Lionesses to beat Australia at the Women's World Cup


"I don’t think Australia are the underdog, they are playing at home and the stadium will be very full," stated the 53-year-old, whose side have won all five of their matches so far.

"There’s two teams that are very strong and have grown into the tournament, it’s going to be very tight and competitive.

"We approach the game as any other game, we prepare how we want to play and analyse our opponent really well so we can hopefully expose some weaknesses."

Wiegman also refused to give away her tactics as England look to put Australia to the sword.

"I am not going to explain our plan for tomorrow. We know Australia strengths, the better we do, the less they can use those qualities," she continued.

"We hope we can have the ball a lot and keep the ball a lot, that prevents all those moments too."

England and Australia have a fierce sporting rivalry.

Just this summer they've gone head to head in both cricket and netball.

Yet Wiegman has insisted the rivalry won't be a huge factor as she looks to steer England to yet another final following their triumph at the European Championships last year.

“We don’t feel that rivalry that much. There’s a lot of it in rugby on cricket and rugby, and more recently netball. We know it’s going to be competitive," she stated.

"Lots of players from Australia also play in the WSL and know each other really well.

"They want to beat us and of course we want to beat them, so that’s the main competitiveness we will get tomorrow."

And Wiegman also isn't too fazed by the prospect of Australia potentially giving Sam Kerr a first start of the tournament.

“Australia is not just Sam Kerr," she added.

"Yes we have a plan. She can play and she can start on the bench, so that’s the situation."

Meanwhile, England star Millie Bright also addressed the upcoming tie.

And when asked about the Lionesses' defeat to Australia before the tournament, she made it clear that wouldn't count for anything.

"The past is the past," said the skipper.

"We can't influence the future, it is important to stay present on the task ahead, which is tomorrow, and we are fully prepared go."

On the support she's received, she continued: "My family know when to let me focus on the game and get in the zone, so they leave me be.


Australia Tony Gustavsson England

England boss Sarina Wiegman doesn't think Australia are underdogs despite Tony Gustavsson comments


"But I know the support we have back home has been incredible and we really appreciate everyone's support."

You may like