Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu says a sense of understanding among the squad has helped ease their transition in this year's June Series.
The Wallabies have been slow starters in Test seasons in recent seasons, but they jumped out of the blocks with an 18-9 win over Ireland in Brisbane, and narrowly lost to Ireland in Melbourne, setting up a decider in Sydney.
Kepu said the ability of players to share their stories with one another and understand each others’ backgrounds had helped them establish a quick bond with one another, despite a handful of new faces coming in.
“The young guys, the new guys that have come, they've really embraced the culture and showed a bit of vulnerability and same as the guys that have been around for a little while,” he said.
“So, when you can open up and share those experiences and where you've come from and the pathway you've taken, it's massive.
“There's a lot of respect amongst each other and as soon as we came into camp on Sunday a couple of weeks ago, you could the excitement from not only the new guys but the guys that have been there before, just to be back in the environment and to get another shot at representing Australia, it's always special.”
Kepu has been a part of nearly every major Wallabies and Super Rugby moment in recent years and this third Ireland Test rates as one of the most important.
“It's up there,” he said.
“I think back to the Lions series, the Welsh and the French a few years back and Cheik's spoke about it being a final, like a full GF week.
“You kind of think back to big games that you played in and try and draw from that experience of what you did leading up to those weeks and just getting that energy and that positive vibe around there around the group, which is really exciting.
“It's definitely up there. Obviously, you've got the World Cup final, the Super Rugby, the Lions series and this is not too far behind it.
“They're a great team and they're a good side. They're Six Nation champs, so it's 1-1 and it's come to a decider, so it's pretty exciting.
The Wallabies’ stability across the three Tests is a far cry from the five Test debutants they had in 2016, and Kepu feels the side has come a long way in those two seasons.
“A lot of the guys that debuted in 2016, the bulk of the team, so that's made it a lot easier for guys, maybe a handful of new guys come in and as any team they learn quickly and they work in an environment with guys helping each other,” he said.
“I feel, there's a lot of good chemistry within the team and vibe and whatever we want to call it, I think it's heading in the right direction.
“Obviously you have your hiccups like last week but the boys have actually taken it in their stride and it's exciting.”
The Wallabies take on Ireland in the third June Test in Sydney on Saturday June 23, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.