Wallabies' faith has stayed true in 2016

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies vice-captain Michael Hooper says his side has never wavered in its belief, as it prepares for two of its most important Tests of the year.

Coming into the Spring Tour, the Wallabies had won three of 10 Tests so far in 2016, a tally that has doubled in a perfect opening three weeks in their run home.

Hooper said looking back to a 3-0  England series loss, they could learn plenty but there was never any second-guessing as the Wallabies moved through 2016.

"We believe in it wholly, we had 10 days to come together to try to make that happen [before that series],” he said

“We can get better at that point in the year, coming together on short terms.

“But we came back together in August completely confident to do a job against any team coming up in the next couple of months.- Michael Hooper

“That’s been a hallmark of the team this year, just believing."

A three from three start to Spring Tour has been a positive for Australia but Hooper said he felt there was still plenty of improvement left in the team with their final two outings to come.

“[Our] combination is just getting better and better, our attack is starting to really click": he said.

“We had some shaky starts to the season and our attack couldn’t get much points on the board, and particularly after the first English game.

The Wallabies are turning their focus to the All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images“But I think our attack’s starting to get really smooth and we’re just away from opening up teams, with last passes and getting down into the scoring zone and not being able to convert points, so we’re close to really breaking teams open."

Returning to the northern hemisphere, where close to a third of this squad experienced the run to a World Cup final last year, the Wallabies have found the results they’ve been looking for in 2016 but Hooper said they wee

“Definitely the morale is there but that was a long time ago, last year.

“That is really at the back of our minds now, we’re excited about this weekend and looking forward."

Michael Cheika took over the Wallabies reins in 2014. Photo: Getty ImagesThis year’s tour is the first Northern Hemisphere tour since Michael Cheika’s first season at the helm, the World Cup notwithstanding, and Hooper said the main focus was simply to keep improving, a philosophy that is a mantra of Cheika’s.

 “He’s changing, he’s always trying to become a better coach, that’s something the players really like about Michael is the fact he’s always trying to be better.

“He’s trying to get guys around him who he thinks are the best in their jobs, and we believe like he believes in them, to deliver us a plan to go out there on the weekend and win.

“So he’s changing as a coach, we’re changing as a team, and trying to find that thing we’re trying to get and say a lot, and that’s consistency."

The Wallabies take on Ireland on Saturday in Dublin, kicking off at 4:30m Sunday AEDT, live on beIN Sports 3 (Foxtel Channel 515)