Wallabies veteran Sekope Kepu is vowing to leave nothing in the tank as he bids to hold the Bledisloe Cup aloft in his last-ever series against New Zealand.
Kepu will resume his career in Europe after this year’s Rugby World Cup and wants to finish his Wallabies career with at least the one trophy that has eluded him over 101 Tests.
The Australians haven’t won the prized trans-Tasman Cup since 2002 – six years before the prop made his Test debut.
He’s not alone with halfback Will Genia, playmakers Bernard Foley and Christian Lealiifano and locks Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman from the current squad in Perth preparing for game one on Saturday who are also at last chance saloon.
They need a win at Optus Stadium before the return leg in Auckland on August 17.
“The reality drops that this is your last shot at the Bledisloe and it is for a few of us in the squad,” Kepu said on Tuesday.
“But that’s not going to affect too much on how we prepare.
“My mentality is take every opportunity I can get and empty the tank and do whatever I can for the team.”
The 33-year-old said he felt in great shape coming off a massive Super Rugby season with the Waratahs, where he played big minutes.
He felt the youngsters in the pack were keeping him on his toes.
The Wallabies’ dominant scrum was key to their 16-10 win over Argentina last round and Kepu said it was one of the best performances he could remember.
“It was probably one of my favourites … but what excites me is the guys that came on and finished the job,” Kepu said.
“It is probably something we have lacked over the years and Allan (Alaalatoa) is still out.
“But you can’t be smiling and happy about that and get caught with our pants down on Saturday, so we have to keep moving forward.”
“The front row with (Joe) Moody, Codie (Taylor) and Owen (Franks) – they’ve got that chemistry from the Crusaders and everyone else behind them.
“I’m sure they’ll prepare really, really well and want to bounce back as we did from the Springboks the first week.
“We’re not going to rest on our laurels and think we’ve done a great job.
“We’ve parked that and we’ve got a massive, massive challenge on Saturday. ”
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