Outgoing Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore feels he is leaving the Test side in good hands, as the new era looms ever closer.
Moore was relieved after the Wallabies’ win over the All Blacks, pleased that Australia finally had a result to vindicate their talk of growth and progress in recent weeks.
“I think for this group particularly it's a really important result,” he said.
“We've been working towards it, been talking a lot about the improvements and at some point you have to get an outcome.
“I think for this group tonight was that.
“So, that said, we've just got to keep a lid on it.
“We just spoke about that in the dressing room - we haven't won the trophy and they still won the series and that's disappointing but tonight for this group, they took a step forward.”
The 125-Test rake handed over the captaincy in August, when announcing his retirement, and as he looks down the barrel of his final four Tests, Moore is proud of those taking the torch.
“Something that I've been satisfied with, or that's been pleasing for me, is the growth of the leaders in the team,” he said.
“I don't think we've had that in this team for a number of years to have - there's five, six, seven players now that are a part of that leadership group and having a real input and driving the standards, driving the outcomes and it's really powerful when that happens and I’ve really seen that grow in the last period of time.”
Moore had the chance to farewell his home fans in a Wallabies jersey in a special post-match presentation, a moment that few players could say they were granted in an industry that rarely lets you know when your time is up.
“It's just by luck that it was in Brisbane and the kids were all able to be there, and that sort of stuff,” he said.
“You look back on that down the track and to have all my kids up there on stage and things like that, that'll be pretty special to look back on.
“That's probably the only time I've had to take a step back and I was just proud to be part of that group tonight and it was good.”
Hooper has spoken glowingly of his long-time mentor in recent months and days and the Wallabies skipper said his predecessor deserved that special sendoff.
“It was a special moment for me seeing him and his family up there in his home Test, playing in a great outfit and a really good opponent of ours,” he said.
“He’s a legend of our game here in Australia and a mentor for all our players in the team. Really happy for Steve - he’s got a couple more minutes in the jersey and I’m looking forward to seeing him a lot more.”