As he received his participation medal and cap in Bath on Wednesday morning (Australian time), Wallabies vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper says the World Cup was starting to feel a little bit more real.
Ashley-Cooper is one of five Wallabies lining up for their third World Cup and it will almost definitely be the outside back’s last.
With the 31-year-old headed for Bordeaux after the World Cup, he said he wanted to finish on a high.
“It gets tougher with age," he said.
"This is going to be a special one for me. It's more than likely my last but I'm hoping to go out on a memorable note,” he said.
“We’ve been together for a long time now.
“We played four games in the Rugby championship, which we were pretty happy with.
"We've just come off the back of a two-week preparation at Notre Dame in Chicago.
"It’s been a while on the road been together a long time and we’re eagerly awaiting our first game."
The Wallabies have had less time than most to get their team together under coach Michael Cheika, who has been only in charge since November last year.
Australia has stayed well out of the spotlight in its lead up to the World cup, after a camp in the USA and Cheika said he was happy with how the team has progressed.
“We’re quietly moving along with what we’re doing,” he said.
“We’ve been out of the light for a while because we’ve been away and working in America and getting our bits and pieces together.
“I’m really pleased with the way things have gone since we (came) back from the tour last year, the spring tour, and I got to know a bit about the squad.
“We’ve had a short preparation time really but we’ve done a lot of work inside of that both on and off the field and we’ll want to make sure we’re as competitive as we possibly can be.”