Wallabies appreciate fans near and far

by RUGBY.com.au staff

They’re thousands of kilometres away from home and at least nine hours removed from their home cities but the Wallabies know the effect a World Cup final can have on the sport in Australia.

The 1995 World Cup final was the game that sparked the desire of a seven-year-old David Pocock to play in rugby’s biggest occasion.

Two decades on, he is one of those players and acutely aware of the effect a World Cup final performance could have on the next generation of rugby fanatics.

“I think about that ‘95 final, as a kid that did something for me,” he said.

“I dreamt about playing in the world cup after that. And the 2003 semi-final (between Australia and New Zealand). Right down to the Bledisloe and all those things.”

Wallabies halfback Will Genia said the side was more aware of the support than past teams might have been, with the proliferation of social media.

“I think you can feel the support definitely,” he said.

“Obviously now days it’s a little different to 2003 with social media and things like that so you can feel it from that front and from family and friends.

“People are obviously taking notice and wanting to watch. Having the Australian public behind us is an amazing feeling.”

Genia said Saturday’s final was a chance for the 31-man squad but also the sport in Australia.

“It’s a great opportunity or this playing group but also for Rugby in Australia to have success and take that back home, to grow the game and generate interest and whatnot for the game.”

While the Wallabies have faced fairly hostile crowds at Twickenham in four consecutive fixtures at the ground, Pocock said the pockets of gold in the stadium had not gone unnoticed.

The number eight hoped those numbers would be even bigger on Saturday.

"There’s been a heap of Aussies in the crowd and I'm sure there’ll be a lot more booking last-minute tickets so let’s hope so," he said.