Rugby World Cup Sanchez outlines Wilkinson influence

Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez feels he has benefited significantly from the time he spent with Jonny Wilkinson at Toulon.

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Sanchez outlines Wilkinson influence play

Sanchez outlines Wilkinson influence

(Omni Sport)
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Hopes of a home triumph at the Rugby World Cup have long since faded, but the man who kicked England to glory in 2003, Jonny Wilkinson, has been credited with playing a key role in the success of Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

Argentina have exceeded expectations at this year's tournament and stand one game away from a maiden final appearance as they prepare to face Australia at Twickenham on Sunday.

Ahead of that fixture, Sanchez - one of the stars of Argentina's squad - has hailed former England number 10 Wilkinson, whom he played alongside at Toulon.

"When people ask me, 'Who is the greatest player ever', I say Wilkinson," Sanchez revealed. "He is a legend and I tried to take advantage of his knowledge as much as possible.

"Wilkinson worked with me on my kicking and made me focus on the details. One important thing we worked on was the mentality that a kicker has to have, and he taught me how to be focused."

Having contributed 23 points from the tee in Argentina's impressive 43-20 triumph over Ireland in the quarter-finals, Sanchez is aware he will be required to hold his nerve under even greater pressure this weekend.

"It is important to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. I will have to have the right mentality when I'm kicking because the match could come down to one or two points," he added.

"Nerves are inevitable, but I will try to stay calm, not let the nerves get to me and ignore the pressure.

"We are really happy with the match with Ireland, but now that is in the past and we are focused on the game against Australia.

"We know to beat Australia we have to play really well, better than against Ireland, as it will be tougher physically."

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