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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 02:34 GMT 03:34 UK
Larkham still hurt by final loss
Stephen Larkham looks dejected after a Wallabies defeat
Larkham has won 82 Australia caps
Wallabies fly-half Stephen Larkham admits he still suffers mental torture from Australia's agonising 2003 World Cup final defeat against England.

The countries meet at Telstra Stadium next Sunday in their first Sydney clash since England's extra-time triumph.

"I still haven't watched the tape," Larkham said. "It hurts too much, and it is a loss that is still in my mind.

"I don't think any of us have got over it. I haven't seen the game, and I don't really know if I want to."

Larkham is set to spearhead Australia's back division against an England side that could feature only one survivor - lock Ben Kay - from their World Cup final starting line-up.

knew what was going to happen, but couldn't do anything about it

Steve Larkham
But while the England faces might be a lot different, Larkham has vivid memories of the moment Wilkinson lined up his glory kick.

"Wilkinson set himself pretty early for a field goal," Larkham told the Sun-Herald newspaper.

"We all knew it was going to be a field goal, we knew it was coming. I was defending right next to the ruck.

"Two rucks before, the half-back - Matt Dawson - had scooted past the bloke who was defending there because we were all so worried about the field goal.

"I was in that position this time. I couldn't really chase Jonny Wilkinson because the gap would open up for Dawson again, and that was frustrating - the fact I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn't do anything about it.

"He kicked it, and there was just this helplessness."

Australia smashed England 51-15 when they met in Brisbane two years ago, in what turned out to be Sir Clive Woodward's last game in charge.

But Larkham admits even a 2-0 Test series victory over the next fortnight will not constitute revenge, given the absence of several resting England World Cup winners.

"I don't know if we can ever get revenge because I don't think we are going to play against the same team again and in the same situation," he added.

"We might win games against England during the next 16 months leading up to the 2007 World Cup, and we've beaten them since the last World Cup.

"But it still doesn't change the result from that night. I suppose nothing can."

SEE ALSO
Giteau plays down comeback talk
01 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Aussies ring changes for England
29 May 06 |  Internationals
Gregan intends to make World Cup
28 May 06 |  Internationals
Connolly issues England warning
16 May 06 |  Internationals


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