Brisbane – Australia captain Stephen Moore
conceded that Saturday’s Test against England would be a highly physical encounter,
but that this was just part of Test rugby.
England’s Australian coach Eddie Jones has
spent much of the lead-up to the first Test talking up the Wallabies’ physical
approach under coach Michael Cheika.
But Moore believes all Test rugby is
confrontational and stressed the Wallabies were prepared for that in the
opening match of the three-Test series.
“Test rugby is physical, probably more
physical than Super Rugby,” Moore said.
“We know the importance of that and
we’ve prepared for it, and we want to make sure that that part of our game is
“You always want to play within the
rules and being physical is part of that.
“That’s just one part of the game, but
it’s an important one.”
And Moore does not expect French referee
Romain Poite to be swayed by Jones’ pre-match comments.
“I’ve played under him a number of
times and he’s very much his own man,” added Moore. “He’ll referee
the game the way he sees it.”
The veteran hooker insists the Wallabies
want to continue the progress they have made under Cheika, which saw Australia
reach the final of last year’s World Cup in England.
“We did a lot of work on our game last
year to get to a point, but we didn’t get what we wanted, which was winning the
World Cup,” said Moore.
“But this is a new opportunity for
this group – it’s very much the 2016 team.”
The inclusion of four newcomers, lock Rory
Arnold, centre Samu Kerevi, wing Dane Haylett-Petty and reserve scrumhalf Nick
Frisby, also ensures the squad will not be resting on their laurels from 2015.
“We’ve got four debutants tomorrow and
it’s their opportunity to play for the Wallabies and show what their identity
is,” said Moore.
“We haven’t spoken too much about
results and outcomes, it’s more about the process and coming together and
playing as a team tomorrow night.
“It’s a special opportunity for those
guys and they’ve worked really hard.
“For me, who’s been there for a while,
it’s very exciting to share that moment with those guys when they play their
first Test for Australia.”
While Australia will boast a huge back
line, Moore believes the battle would be fierce in the forwards.
“The first scrum is always important
in any game and tomorrow will be no different,” he said, pointing out that
Australia had vastly improved.
“We’ve worked hard on that part of our
game this year, we know how important it is in Test rugby.
“It’s going to be a good contest. I
always look forward to playing a tough forward pack.”