Wallaby jersey hopes for Mitchell

Date published: May 7 2016

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Toulon back Drew Mitchell has admitted he wants to help Australia challenge New Zealand for the Bledisloe Cup. 

32-yar-old Mitchell has been playing for the star-studded Stade Mayol outfit since 2013 winning three consecutive European titles. 

He qualified to play for his country under Giteau's law that the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) brought to pass five months before last year's World Cup, the practice allows overseas-based Wallaby internationals to be eligble for selection if they have played more than 60 Tests and held a professional ARU contract for at least seven years.

Mitchell, who made his debut for the Wallabies in 2005, has played in three World Cup tournaments and is Australia's highest try scorer at this event.

"For me I was pretty upfront and said that going into last year’s Rugby Championship and World Cup campaign, I genuinely thought that was all I was interested in," Mitchell told Fox Sports.

"But I was really excited by the atmosphere and the spirit of the group and I really enjoyed the time. It made me want to – if I can and if I deserve it – to go back again."

The former Waratahs player admits he has enjoyed playing under the tutelage of Cheika, since returning to the gold jersey.

"It is hard to put it into words why it was special," he said.

"Just the feel in the group. It was a real want to work hard, with the way Cheik has come in and instilled that in the group. Also just tapping back into why we play, and who we play for. 

"It was just a different perspective and a different level of excitement we hadn’t probably tapped into for a long time. 

"There was a real sense we were pushing for something together.

"For me, I missed the Ewen days, I wasn’t playing then. But it was a completely different kind of atmosphere than it was when I finished up under Robbie and that management. Geez, we worked hard but that helped us bind together. Also playing the type of footy of played was enjoyable. 

"It is very hard to put a finger on one thing but all those little changes to so many different areas made it a very enjoyable experience."

Despite his Wallaby ambitions Mitchell will be taking a breather after the Top 14 season, which will see him miss the June international Tests against the Six Nations Grand Slam winning England side in Australia.

Mitchell pointed out that former All Black and current Toulon teammate, Ma'a Nonu, reminds them regularly about New Zealand's Bledisloe Cup domination.

"We have a constant reminder here in Ma’a Nonu about how long it has been," Mitchell said.

"(Winning the Bledisloe) has always been a motivator. Each campaign that came around we would always be reminded how long it has been and none of us had touched it and all that kind of stuff. 

"It is one of the great rivalries and it has stung us to not be able to win it.

"Many a Wallaby has come and gone without having the opportunity to lift it so, of course, if we are given the opportunity to give it another crack, the group who will pull on that jersey will do everything they can."

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