Wallabies have to set the Super Rugby standard

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan still seems surprised that he was one of the players chosen to be part of Michael Cheika’s Wallabies camp last week.

Hanigan was one of the uncapped players in the Canberra camp, a turn of events that led to breaking some bye week plans.

“I didn't really think about it too much. I rang Dad that night and said, ‘I probably can't come home after the bye to help you muster cattle’,” he laughed.

“I said, I’m going for a trip to Canberra,’ but he said, ‘You'd be pretty happy with that' and I was like yeah it's alright.”

Ned Hanigan in action for the Waratahs. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHanigan’s not getting caught up in any delusions of grandeur though, despite the call-up in just his second Super Rugby season.

“Cheika said, 'Would you like to come down' and I felt like going, ‘Nah don't worry about it’,” Hanigan joked.

“”I didn't expect anything like that. (It’s just about) doing your job for the Tahs, if you're doing that to the best of your ability if those things happen it's all well and good but we're just concentrating on this week."

The April camp was an important one for Australia’s Test contenders, with the June series looming and Cheika said last week the next step was instilling more belief in the players as the clock ticked down to Bledisloe time.

It was a reminder Wallabies and Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley said was timely for the group and individuals now halfway through the Super Rugby season.

“It was a good couple of days just to get back together, connect with each other, just to have a chat and speak about the upcoming season,” he said.

“It was also just to acknowledge areas where we can improve, objective, statistical areas where each player can go back and have an influence at their provincial sides and keep trying to lift the standard.”

Foley said every Test contender had to prove that status returning to their provincial sides for the back half of the season.

“As Wallabies, every Wallaby has that jersey underneath or that label when they go back to their provincial sides,” he said.

“They've just got to consistently play well and lift the standard of their own play and hopefully create that environment back at their provincial club.

“I think everyone got a bit of a clearer understanding (after the camp) and will take that back to their teams and hopefully put that in place in the coming weeks." - Bernard Foley.

Cheika was an interested observer at Waratahs training on Monday at Kippax Field, less than a week after the camp, as the NSW side prepares for a clash with the Kings.

The Waratahs take on the Kings on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.