Michael Hooper is desperate to get out on the pitch and take on New Zealand but knows controlled aggression will be key for Australia.
The Wallabies’ Rugby Championship campaign begins with Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney, with the home side looking to build on last year’s win against the All Blacks in Brisbane.
Yet while Hooper is raring to go, he is aware that a lack of shape and discipline could cost Australia.
“I’m going to come out all guns blazing,” the captain said. “We’re ready, we’re good to go. Bring it on. I feel really ready and can’t wait for Saturday’s match.
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“The line is hard to pick. You’ve got to feel it off your gut sometimes. It’s something that certainly the leaders in our team are constantly working on to try to pick that line.
“You want to be fired up and ready to get off the line and disrupt, but when things don’t go your way – against quality teams, sometimes they don’t – you’ve got to try to drag that momentum back.
“Not losing your head, keeping your cool and sticking to your game plan is important. That is very much what we’re going to do this week: stick to our stuff, bring ourselves back and play our game. Our game is ready to go against these guys.”
But despite ending a seven-match losing run against New Zealand in 2017, Hooper acknowledges the difficulty of the task.
“There’s no easy way around this thing,” he added. “It’s going to be hard and that’s why different teams and different players have struggled over the course of however many years.”
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