Australia’s Test against France this weekend won’t be part of any potential Grand Slam, but the Wallabies say they aren’t going to be taking their foot off the pedal as they head to Paris.
The Wallabies are halfway to that Grand Slam, after beating Wales and Scotland with blockbusters against Ireland and England to come.
Flanker David Pocock said there was no danger of the Wallabies taking France lightly, no matter what the circumstances.
“Every game in the Wallaby jersey, you want to be at your best,” he said.
“There’s great competition in the squad, the guys who haven’t been pulling on the jersey on Saturday afternoon have been working incredibly hard, so there’s a bunch of guys that are jumping out of their skin to play.
“We’re certainly not going to let our guard down, we’ll be working hard this week and trying to put in a really good performance leading into the last two (Tests)."
“We’re certainly not going to let our guard down, we’ll be working hard this week and trying to put in a really good performance leading into the last two (Tests)." - David Pocock
While there may be a temptation for Wallabies coach MIchael Cheika to rest players for the match against France given what's at stake, Pocock said he wasn’t preoccupied with the selection strategy.
“I leave all that stuff to the coaches, they’re outstanding, they work very hard so they’ll make all those decisions,” he said.
“As players, the match 23 have been working very hard and the other boys are probably working even harder, training every day; they were out there doing fitness on Saturday morning [before the Test].
“Whoever pulls on that jersey over the next week or so will do us proud.”
The unique challenge that presents itself on the Spring Tour, in contrast to the June series or The Rugby Championship, is face fresh opposition each week.
It’s that element, lock Rob Simmons said, that meant they couldn’t get carried away by the prospect of an elusive Grand Slam.
“It's very hard to go through (any tour) undefeated.” - Rob Simmons
“It's very hard to go through (any tour) undefeated,” he said.
“It's not a competition where you're reviewing your opposition each week; in the June series you get three games against the same opposition.
“It's a new opposition each week and they haven't played for a while and we haven't played them for a while, so it's hard to get a read on what they'll do and each team comes at you a different way.”
Already in this Spring Tour the Wallabies have found victories in different ways - almost total domination over Wales, before the last-gasp victory over Scotland in Edinburgh.
Pocock said the Scotland result showed the faith the players had in each other and the game plan, something the squad has talked about often this year about wanting to regain among a season that has unearthed 12 debutants.
“[It says] that you believe in each other,” Pocock said of that victory.
“Guys stuck to how we wanted to play and Tevita pulled out a big play to get the try so it’s certainly a group that’s been working hard over the last few months.
“We haven’t had the results we’ve been after, but the next three weeks are a great opportunity for us to work towards that." - David Pocock
“We haven’t had the results we’ve been after, but the next three weeks are a great opportunity for us to work towards that."
The Wallabies flew to Paris on Sunday ahead of the third Spring Tour Test, against France at the Stade de France.
Australia vs France will be shown LIVE on SBS and beIn Sport on Sunday November 19, kicking off at 7am AEDT.