Wallabies hope World Cup inspires next generation

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Many of the current Wallabies squad were inspired by their predecessors’ World Cup heroics and they hope their 2015 campaign will start to do the same for the next generation.

While emotions were still raw after the final, the side’s players and coaches said they hadn’t lost sight of the wider impact that the World Cup could have on the game.

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham has seen first hand the broader effect a good cup can have, having been a part of two finals winning in 1999 and playing in the 2003 tournament hosted by Australia.

“Obviously losing is not going to be as good as winning but we certainly saw a big upside in having the tournament in 2003,” he said.

“I think it was a really good response from the public and from the playing numbers in Australia and certainly from ‘99 that spurred Australia as well.

“There’s real pride in the jersey now. Not just from the players who are wearing it or the players who want to be wearing it but more from that point of view of the general public.”

Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy said their goal was always to try and bring about some optimism into Australian rugby and the incessant buzzing of his phone on Saturday morning told him they were on the right track.

“We wanted to create a bit of positive glow around the game in our country,” he said.

“I think the messages on my phone absolutely lit up this morning when I woke up, just from everyone."

Fardy said while that broader goal is sometimes lost, it was a critical element of their aims in the tournament.

“I think we try to set the game up for future players,” he said.

“I think we can get lost in what we’re trying to do for a while there, so if we can set the game up, get more people into rugby, that’s the goal.

“Hopefully we’ve inspired some young kids out there to take up the game and want to come over here and do it and win a world cup, that’s been the aim from the word go."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika made mention of it after the match, in an effort to remind his charges of their role in a bigger picture, an element they have had in their mindset on and off the field through the campaign.

“In the dressing room, we just spoke about maybe not the rugby matters but the personal matters,” he said.

“(The things) we’ve worked on as a group of people to improve on our own and the way we are and how we do things and the effect we can have on others within our own community in rugby in Australia.

“We want to do really good things for Australian rugby going forward both by the way we played our game and then, hopefully the results as well, by consequence."