‘We will win’: Wallabies focused on the bigger picture before France Test
The Wallabies have started their new dawn under coach Eddie Jones with four losses from as many starts, but they aren’t panicking.
The Aussies, just like 19 other teams, are focused on the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.
With about two weeks to go until their World Cup opener against Georgia in Paris, the Wallabies are preparing for their final warm-up Test – and it’s a tough one.
Looking to turn their losing streak around before rugby’s showpiece event, the Wallabies will take on World Cup hosts France at Stade de France on Sunday evening.
Coach Jones has picked a youthful side for their clash with Les Bleus. There are a dozen players in the match day squad who have played less than 10 Tests in Wallaby gold.
Schoupp, who was famously described as a “brick sh**house” by coach Jones in April, said this young Wallabies side has what it takes to upset France.
“You want to win every game as best you can but the whole point of this game is to get better and prepare for the World Cup,” Schoupp told reporters.
“We’ve got a squad there that has an extremely high ceiling, and if we reach our potential then we will win the game.
“Everyone’s just got to play their part and we’ll see what happens.”
Coach Jones started his tenure with the Wallabies team with a tough loss to world champions South Africa during The Rugby Championship.
Argentina scored a last-minute winner against the Aussies in Sydney a week later, and a Bledisloe Cup sweep from the All Blacks piled on more pain.
But the young Wallabies showed plenty of promise in that tough defeat in Dunedin earlier this month, and many of those players are backing up on Sunday.
“As Schouppy alluded to, every Test we play is important, every Test we play we want to win,” assistant coach Dan Palmer added.
“But like all international teams this year, there’s a context of the World Cup. I think you’ve seen, even though we haven’t managed to get a win, you’ve seen the team progress over the past few months.
“The goal this weekend is exactly the same. We need to see progression in certain areas.
“We’re trying to build a team that can win the World Cup so in terms of selection that was forefront of mind as well.”
The Wallabies have gone in a new direction ahead of the World Cup. When they named their 33-man squad, there was no room for veterans Quade Cooper and Michael Hooper.
Carter Gordon was picked as the sole flyhalf in the squad, while utility Ben Donaldson is set to play a backup role as a playmaker off the bench – they have six Test caps between them.
Towering lock Will Skelton will also captain the team for the first time this weekend. Skelton, who plys his trade with European powerhouse La Rochelle, will become the 87th captain in Wallabies history.
“It’s important that we build that depth, not just in the playing quality in the team but also in the leadership,” Palmer added.
“There will be guys pushed to take on some leadership responsibly late in the game.”