Although no Australian team will be involved in this year's Super Rugby Final, Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper is confident the Wallabies will do well in 2015.
With the Rugby Championship around the corner and the World Cup also starting in September, Ashley-Cooper revealed that for the first time in a decade, there was comprehensive planning for the Wallabies' matches during the Super Rugby season.
This was a necessity as Waratahs boss Michael Cheika is also the Wallabies' coach.
“I think there are exciting times ahead, particularly for the Wallabies and Australian rugby,” Ashley-Cooper told the Daily Telegraph.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work throughout the year — not something we’ve done over the last decade, connecting as a Wallabies group throughout Super Rugby.
“I think we are mentally preparedmentally prepared and once we get together as a group, we’ll be ready to go.
“Just the work that’s gone into the year, and you can thank Cheik for doing that, he’s not leaving anything to chance.
“The work we’ve done as leaders, as decision-makers, and certain members of the team with Cheik getting together with all the different provinces, I feel there’s just a bond there.
“And that’s something that’s certainly going to be needed come September-October when hopefully we’re playing for a final.”
The Hurricanes host the Highlanders in the Super Rugby Final this weekend but despite the Waratahs and Brumbies' semi-final defeats, Ashley-Cooper doesn't believe that the form of teams in that tournament will have an impact on the Wallabies' performances in 2015.
“If you’re fortunate enough to win the premiership, you’re certainly on a high, but that’s certainly put behind you because it’s a whole new environment, a whole new competition,” he added.
“You’re forced to connect with different players.
“Whoever wins next week, I’m sure they’re going to have a good time celebrating it, but that will be put behind them pretty quickly because there’ll be a new focus with the All Blacks like it was with the Wallabies.
“To give them credit, they’re two teams who deserve to be there.
“The Highlanders were clear winners on the night, deserved the win. The Hurricanes have had a stellar year, all year, and I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty entertaining game.”