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Past defeats driving Hooper, Wallabies to flip English script

Fri, 01/07/2022, 6:16 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
A strong half from England secures the win for the hosts at Twickenham

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is eager to flip a recent run of English dominance as they settle into Perth ahead of Saturday's first Test.

Hooper is one of few in the national set-up to taste success against Eddie Jones' men, who have won their past eight contests.

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This is driving the squad as they welcome the visitors to Australia for the first time since 2016.

“It’s a motivation to win and turn the ledger,” Hooper told reporters.

“We have three games at home to do it. It’s been a long time since we’ve played these fellas out here so we’re excited about it.

“It’s the top rivalry isn’t it? Having the Ashes at the back end of last year and this year, the whole of Australian population gets behind whether they’re here or in England, it’s bragging rights so it’s big for the fans and us.

“There’s some great history between the two teams and two teams rolling into a World Cup next year.

“We’re really excited, history hasn’t been in our favour for quite some time now against the English and we’re keen to rip in.

“They’re always a tough outfit. They’ve picked a powerful team with some real skill and experience involved there. We’re expecting a tough time.”

The Wallabies took the unique approach of staying based in Queensland for the build-up to the first Test, arriving in Western Australia late Thursday evening.

Hooper believes this has maximised their preparation, allowing them to come out firing on Saturday.

“We’ve got full access to players up there. We have got our dedicated facilities here which are pretty sharp like we had back in the Coffs Harbour days,” he revealed.

“You’re able to walk to gym or field, have good recovery onsite. In terms of preparation to play, it’s as good as it comes.

“You stay in a city, it’s great but you're constantly on the bus travelling from place to place and using gyms that aren’t tailor-made. We’ve been pretty lucky with the set-up we have but it’s great to now be here (in Perth) and get our feet on the ground.”

The key to this will be getting the 'mini-wins' early on, with England scoring the first try in six of those eight defeats, including their last four.

“We just need to get a couple of wins under our belt, mini-wins in the game and then just stacking them on top of each other,” Hooper added.

“In games of these magnitudes, it’s going to go back and forward and we need to stay in the fight, throw and absorb punches, get back on the front foot and attack these guys.

“We’ve trained hard against each other and it was tough for Dave and the staff to pick a side so we’re well prepared for tomorrow and ready to go.”

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