Moore backs Wallabies and Cheika to turn fortunes around

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore says what Australia’s 2018 team does next is as important as anything that has come before.

This is Moore's first season watching the Wallabies from afar after retiring in 2017 and the hooker said he felt for his former teammates and coach Michael Cheika. 

The 35-year-old said those within the inner sanctum would know criticism comes with the territory and the only thing left for them to do is ensure they rebound in Brisbane.

“It's unfortunate in these times that that happens a lot,” he said.

“When you're winning, it's the other way around, you've got plenty of admirers and people come out say how good you're going.

“That's the nature of sport and everyone will know - Cheik knows and all the players - when you're playing for your country that's the way it is.

Stephen Moore will start for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty images“People want you to do well, they care and that's why perhaps some people are critical and share their views.

“That's just part and parcel of the role we play.

“We're very lucky to do what we do and represent your country and that goes with the territory.

“A lot of the players and coaches would've seen this kind of thing before and I suppose their response is what's most important and they'll know that.”

Moore captained the Wallabies through the 2015 Rugby World Cup, before retiring last year and handing the captaincy over to Michael Hooper, and said determination was all they needed to turn things around.

“For me, every Wallaby team is special, you're representing your country in every Test match. It doesn't really matter what point in time you're in,” he said.

“Any team can do whatever they want to, if they do the right things. It's not really about this year's different to last year or next year will be different to this year.

“There's a lot of forecasting goes on in that sense and really anyone can achieve what they want and this team is no different, they've certainly got the players and there's no doubt they can.”

Moore is in Fiji with the Classic Wallabies, who will play an exhibition match against the Fijian Legends on Saturday ahead of the NRC season opener.

The Classics is still a developing organisation, aiming to help former Wallabies give back to communities and Moore said it was vital for both the players and those they visit.

“I think they've done a great job in the last 12 months in really identifying what the Classics is all about and where we fit into the rugby landscape and I think there's a huge amount that former players can offer the game and it's good to see some sort of structure being created around that.

“There's certainly a lot that can still be done but I think it's been really good progress made and I think some of the games we've seen in Toowoomba - I know there’s one planned to be in Orange later in the year.

“Those kind of events are really important for regional areas and I think you'll see in Orange the interest around that game will be really strong and those sort of places are real rugby strongholds and we need to make sure we maintain that, which isn't always easy but I think that's perhaps a role the Classics can play getting involved in those type of events.”