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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Legend slates southern giants
Matt Dunning (left) and Stirling Mortlock train before the World Cup
Australia prepare in their training camps
Former All Black lock Colin Meads believes New Zealand and Australia have made an error in choosing to go into camp instead of playing competitive matches prior to the World Cup.

"I have a worry with the All Blacks - that is, they're not playing," said Meads.

"In my day if you didn't play every week, it felt like you were starting the season all over again.

"The northern hemisphere teams (England and France) are all playing and New Zealand and Australia are not. I think they should be.

"It's a southern hemisphere tournament and it's meant to suit us better than the northern hemisphere nations so from that point of view I think we've got it a little bit wrong."

The 67-year-old also believes England should be made favourites for the tournament.

"I think the hot favourites, from what we've seen over the past six months, are England," said Meads.

"They've got Jonny Wilkinson, who is an excellent kicker."



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