Hooper has an eye on All Blacks

Date published: October 4 2014

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Australia will face Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday, but captain Michael Hooper hasn’t forgotten about the next Bledisloe Cup clash.

Australia will face Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday, but captain Michael Hooper hasn’t forgotten about the upcoming Bledisloe Cup clash.

Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane will be the venue when Hooper’s men take on the All Blacks in two weeks time.

Getting some momentum ahead of that contest is something Hooper regards as integral, starting in Argentina.

“We’re facing the number one team in the world in a couple of weeks. That’s always tough and exciting. They’ve haven’t lost a game yet (in the Rugby Championship),” said Hooper.

“Build momentum on Saturday, build combinations; there’s two potential debutants (back-rower Jake Schatz and hooker Josh Mann-Rea) coming in, so that’s exciting and, furthermore, to draw the series and that would be an improvement.

“We had one blip there a couple of weeks ago, but (the record against New Zealand) is improving year to year and improving at the right time (ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup).”

Hooper also discussed the defeat to South Africa last weekend, when the Wallabies were leading 10-8 going into the final stages before the Springboks scored three tries.

“We were well in the hunt last week, so that was disappointing,” added Hooper.

“We were 10 minutes from beating the number two team in the world… but you have to take a look at yourselves as a group and see what you can work on.

“So we’ve been honest with each other this week on the field and I think Saturday will be a reflection of how we’ll try to turn things around.”

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