He predicted an unbeaten spring tour for the Wallabies and, with
seemingly the biggest hurdle overcome, Adam Ashley-Cooper is sticking by
his ambitious call.
With the monkey of the losing streak to the
All Blacks off their backs, the centre says the Wallabies have the
momentum to go on with job against Wales this Saturday, then England, Italy and France in the following weeks.
Australia also play midweek rugby against Lote Tuqiri’s former English club Leicester and Irish side Munster.
“There’s four massive hurdles to come but it’s alive like I said,” Ashley-Cooper said.
haven’t spoken about an unbeaten tour but it’s probably in the back of a
lot of guys’ minds. It’s certainly in the back of mine.
“It’s important that you just take it Test by Test and we’ve got two midweeks as well so there’s still six games to go.
“Our next hurdle’s Wales and I think we’ve got to focus purely on that and then the result will take care of itself.”
Ashley-Cooper said the drought-breaking 26-24 win over New Zealand –
after Australia were 24-12 down – meant the Wallabies were starting to
believe they could get themselves home in any company and almost any
“(It’s) a big step,” he said.
progress each game, we’re taking little steps and that was a step we
needed to take and one we all believed that we could make.
“It’s important not to get too caught up with that.”But it has created a lot of confidence and belief and momentum for the start of the tour.
certainly going to do us the world of good knowing next time we
approach the All Blacks it’s next year in a World Cup year.
“So it’s done a lot for us, the monkey’s off our back and we’re back to even.”
The next step, he said, was simple: “Making it two from two, getting a
little bit more momentum and creating a little bit more belief.”
The ghost of last year’s failed grand slam tour is also in the back of
some minds, although that’s just where they want to keep it.
“It would be nice to correct that but that’s behind us now,” Ashley-Cooper said.
was such a disappointing tour, that grand slam tour, and everyone was
pretty upset by it but I think it’s important just to look forward at
what’s ahead and don’t reflect too much on the past.
“We can’t afford to create any doubt now, we’ve got our momentum and the mood’s really good.”
Australia will run into a Wales side hit by injuries, notably to star fullback Lee Byrne and skipper Ryan Jones.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said last year’s 33-12 defeat would have the Dragons fired up at the colossal Millennium Stadium.
“They’ll be smarting from our last visit there,” Deans said. “They’ll have us in their sights.
“They’ll be lying in wait, first outing (of their international season), excited as hell.”