Ella's timely return to Wallabies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Mark Ella ended a long-time absence from the Wallabies set up to present the current squad with their jerseys for the third Test against England.

Ella’s twin Glen will be coaching England alongside Eddie Jones in the final Test, but Mark was well and truly in the Wallabies camp.

It was part of a day of much former Wallaby presence, with roughly 40 past Test players gathering for a reunion function at Allianz Stadium on Friday.

Wallabies vice-captain Michael Hooper said Ella had given the group a fresh perspective in his presentation.

“Yeah it was really cool, considering his involvement post his career with rugby (he) has been not hugely involved,” he said.

“To have him luckily come in for us player of his stature and what he did in the Wallaby jersey, fantastic to  have him come through.

“He spoke really well. His point of view and got it across to us in a really unique fashion and it was something I think everyone took something from.”

The Wallabies will be hoping to use Ella’s influence as they vie to avoid a whitewash this weekend, and maintain a two-decade long undefeated streak at Allianz Stadium.

Hooper said he would be sticking to his guns when it came to penalty decisions in the final Test, despite being criticised for choices to kick to the corner in the Melbourne Test.

“Cheik's (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika) really good with giving the leadership group a feel of that and how we want to go about doing that and I think I've backed every call Squeak's made and I've been happy with the calls that personally in the back end of the game I've made,” he said.

“It is a tough thing to get right, so it is weighing up a variety of different things - how your kickers are kicking, where you are on the field, momentum of the game , players on, yellow cards, all that sort of thing.

“It’s an on the spot decision that Cheik's pretty happy with us to make and has been happy (with).”