Wallabies give back to WA clubland amid Bledisloe uncertainty

Mon, 23/08/2021, 06:15 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
All Blacks secure the Bledisloe Cup for another year with a dominant display at Eden Park in Bledisloe Two

With the remainder of the Bledisloe Cup series under a cloud, the Wallabies have taken the opportunity to head out to clubland in WA as they take advantage of some unexpected time off.

Initially expected to play the final Test on August 21, the game was shifted a week before NZR made the call to not travel to Perth over the weekend.

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Given the All Blacks are required to serve a seven-day quarantine period on arrival in Western Australia, this has left the game at Optus Stadium in jeopardy, with RA hopeful the game can be played on September 4.

However, the disruption didn't seem to affect the Wallabies, who took the opportunity to re-connect with fans as they headed out to various games across the Fortescue Premier Grade - WA's premier club rugby competition.

Back-rower Harry Wilson joined captain Michael Hooper and coach Dave Rennie to Nedlands' clash with Palmyra and was relishing the opportunity to head back to grassroots rugby.

"It's been an awesome time down here at Nedlands Rugby Club. There's been so many seniors and juniors getting around us..everyone has such fond memories of playing club rugby," he said.

"It's just good to come back here on the sidelines and see everyone having some beers, it's such a fun atmosphere. It's good to see some many Wallabies jerseys down here. Half-time, there were a few kids running around and there was plenty of talent out there."

This was reciprocated by Nedlands president Peter Malcolm, who was overjoyed to have the Wallabies come down in order to inspire the growing Rugby community in WA.

"It's the most spectacular thing, the club comes alive," Malcolm said.

"We knew they were coming down but we didn't think so many people would come down and meet the players. We have juniors everywhere, it's spectacular. It's a carnival, I don't think we've had this many people at our club in years and it's a wonderful thing.

"Unless you come here, you don't understand how big Rugby is here...having the Wallabies here is spectacular there's no doubt about it."

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Wilson admitted the side were disappointed with the decision to postpone the game, hopeful they could still showcase their talent to the Perth rugby community.

“The boys are shattered with the news,” said Wilson.

“We’ve been preparing, wanting to rights the wrongs from the last Test against them.

“We have a few days now to get over it, a few relaxing days before we get back to rip in to hopefully play them sometimes soon.

"Rugby's so big over here and it's such a good opportunity to showcase what a great sport we play. It's disappointing to not play next week so touch wood we can play sometime soon. There's so many rugby supporters here and they love it."

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