Michael Hooper: 'We don't want to shy away from talking like that'
Captain Michael Hooper says the Wallabies want to be winners and earn back some love from the Australian public.
With the first test against France kicking off at Suncorp Stadium tonight, before a match in Melbourne next Tuesday and the final test back in Brisbane on Saturday, July 17, the Wallabies have the chance to win a unique 11-day series.
Hooper said his team aren’t shying away from their desire to beat Les Bleus and start to climb from seven in the world rankings.
“We want to win,” the 29-year-old said. “We have put out that word and players have been talking about winning and that’s what we want to do in here. That’s why we’ve been putting in the work – to get a result – so we don’t want to shy away from talking like that. We spoke about what mark we want to leave on Australian rugby and future generations of players, the guys who are 13 or 14, we’d love to see them seeing a winning team in this series.”
While the Wallabies have been based on the Gold Coast for the past three weeks, France only arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday night after getting out of hotel quarantine in Sydney.
They have however been allowed out to train.
The Wallabies went through a similar preparation in Christchurch before the opening Bledisloe Cup match last year in Wellington, where they held the All Blacks to a 16-16 draw.
Hooper said there were some positives about being in a strict quarantine camp and expects the French to “come out firing” as they look to bank their first win over the Wallabies in Australia since 1990.
“You are on top of each other, have no external distractions – it can build some good bonds and forces guys to spend time within the team,” the 105 Test veteran said. “They are going to be coming out firing. We know that they have been nothing but quality in the Six Nations competition up there and some of the firepower they have across the park.”
“It’s going to be a great series and a challenging one in the sense that it will be three games in 11 days,” Hooper said.
– Melissa Woods
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