Wallabies skipper ready for more

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore knows more is expected of his side this season and he says they are ready to deliver.

Just shy of a year on from the Wallabies’ first Caloundra camp, the squad reconvened on the Sunshine Coast.

This time, though, they had a World Cup final berth under their belts and a wave of optimism to ride in on.

Counting down the days until they meet England in Brisbane in their first Test, Moore said they needed to be ready to shoulder the extra burden that came with change.

“I think we need to be comfortable with that, ready to shoulder that expectation, improve our game again,” he said.

“Over last year we tried to engage our supporters and our fans and make them proud of what we were trying to do.

“This year it’s about building on that and finding ways to continue and improve because what we did last year isn’t going to be good enough.”

A new-look England squad will come to Australia with a target firmly affixed to the Wallabies, seeking World Cup revenge, but Moore said the Wallabies wouldn’t be repaying the favour.

“I think our motivation is not having too much to do with England,” he said.

“It’s about improving on our game from last year, being clear about how we want to play and then going out on the field and being genuine about that. 

“In terms of the opposition, I don’t think that’s too much part of our motivation.”

Under Michael Cheika, and changed eligibility laws, the Wallabies squad has a far more global flavour, this time bringing in four overseas-based players.

James Horwill is back in the Wallabies fold. Photo: Getty ImagesTwo of those - James Horwill and Leroy Houston - have been playing in the Premiership and bring with them some handy intel ahead of the first inbound England clashes since 2010.

Moore said that added international experience would only help the Wallabies heading into the first Test.

“I think that’s probably a new thing in Australian rugby isn’t it? - having players over there for a while playing in those competitions and I guess it helps that they play against those guys every week,” he said.

“Perhaps they might be able to tell us a little bit about the style they play and the trends over there. 

“It’s good to see those guys involved and particularly for James, who’s a good friend of mine, to see him work hard and play well in that competition, it’s great reward for him to get another opportunity now.”

The 10 uncapped players in the 39-man squad, along with a host of returned faces, will bring a new energy to the squad, Moore said.

 “As an older player who’s been here a long time, every time you see a group of young players come into the squad, it rejuvenates you.

“it’s great to see those new faces around last night and how excited they are to be involved in this team and hopefully for me as a senior player I can make that a special experience for them.”