Wallabies with a point to prove

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Being one-nil down in a Bledisloe series is not an unfamiliar place for Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper and he says every player is out to prove a point this weekend in Wellington.

Ashley-Cooper, who has beaten the All Blacks just five times in his Test career, said there were plenty of critics lining up and he was keen for a slice of revenge on Saturday.

“I think everyone here has always a point to prove personally,” he said.

“There are critics out there that are one us and I always like to prove them wrong, including myself.

Adam Ashley-Cooper has only defeated the All Blacks five times in his career. Photo: Getty Images

“You've just got to be able to put it behind you and prove those critics wrong, which I've always enjoyed doing or [enjoyed] that challenge anyway.

“So, that's our job this weekend is to turn around a disappointing loss that we suffered on the weekend.”

Ashley-Cooper said an ‘honest’ review was needed to even up the series on Saturday.

“We've reviewed our game very thoroughly and just about backing our system,” he said.

“There's a lot of areas in the game where we just didn't trust our systems, both in attack and defence and we've reviewed that.

“We've had a few home truths and we got through that and it was about turning around and remaining positive and going out there to win this weekend.”

The result of Saturday’s Test may prove even more significant for the squad’s Europe-based players, with all of their negotiations around Test release still ‘ongoing’.

Ashley-Cooper representing Bordeaux earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images

Under World Rugby’s Regulation nine, the Wallabies only have priority over their European players for the Rugby Championship, under which the third Bledisloe does not fall.

Ashley-Cooper has been released for the opening two Tests and said there would be another discussion between Bordeaux and the ARU depending on the outcome of this weekend’s second Bledisloe.

“For the European-based players like myself that's an ongoing conversation that I'm having with my club president back in France and Cheik here,” he said.

“So we'll review that after this weekend.

“From the start, the initial discussion was with Cheik that I was coming back for the first two Tests and then it's an ongoing conversation.

“So, it was pretty open from the start.”