Wallabies leaders setting the tone

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Stephen Moore will line up as Wallabies captain on Saturday, one of possibly six in the match-day 23 that has led the side.

David Pocock. Will Genia, Michael Hooper, James Slipper and Dean Mumm have all captained the squad in recent times.

Outside of those in official leadership positions, the Wallabies have three 100-capped players among their squad and are set to field one of their most experienced sides in history in Saturday’s World Cup final.

Just one current Wallaby- Matt Giteau - has played in a World Cup final, briefly replacing Stephen Larkham in the 2003 decider, but plenty have experience under big game pressure whether it be the back end of a World Cup or a string of recent Bledisloe thrillers.

Moore said he had soaked up the leadership tendencies from his teammates and took a collaborative approach through the weeks.

“That’s been important right from the start,” he said.

“I think I’ve tapped into all those guys and they’ve all been terrific in the way they’ve conducted themselves.

“There’s a lot of leadership in the group and we’ve seen that in our game so far and we’re going to need that in our game on Saturday.”

Consistency and improvement are the key in Moore’s eyes and that’s the approach he is taking to the biggest week of preparation the Wallabies have had in recent memory.

“It’s all about doing our job every day and there’s a lot of hype around the final,” he said.

“There’s s still a game to play and that’s the most important part of the week and doing our job really well.

“The key thing is to improve. We’ve got to keep improving - the bar’s going to keep improving this week and we need to improve again this week.”

Having made it through one of the more challenging pools in Rugby World Cup history has meant the Wallabies have never been able to look beyond the immediate future, Moore said.

“We’ve had a tough pool and we’ve had tough games right throughout (the tournament),” he said.

“We haven’t had too much time to think about anything beyond the week and I think as you’ve seen the games as they’ve gone we’ve had some really tough games throughout the journey.

“So this is another example of that and we’ll think about that now today and our plan for the week and we’ll get going on our preparation, that’s going to be important.”

Coach Michael Cheika echoed Moore’s views on their focus leading into the match, when asked whether he would draw on his Heineken Cup or Super Rugby successes.

“I’ve never been involved in them at international level because there’s not that many tournaments, this is one of the rare ones,” he said.

“You take whatever experience you can around what you think the dynamic is leading into that game.

“All the finals have been slightly different situations how you go into them. Again, this will be new to me so I’ll just deal with it each day.

“Just deal with each player and the collective and just try and get the best out of them every day so that we’re very well prepared for Saturday.”