Michael Hooper says facing New Zealand with the prospect of ending a 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought “ups the hunger” for Australia.
The Wallabies thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth last Saturday, taking full advantage of Scott Barrett’s red card.
New Zealand lost their Rugby Championship title after South Africa beat Argentina later in the day and they will be looking for a first win in three Tests at Eden Park on Saturday, knowing they are in danger of slipping off the top of the rankings.
Australia have lost their last 18 Tests against the world champions, but captain Hooper is relishing the challenge of trying to get his hands on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time.
“These are the games you want to be a part of and it’s even a level up again this week,” the flanker said.
“You’re going to a place where many a generation of Wallaby hasn’t won and coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line.
“It’s fantastic being on the other end and certainly ups the hunger.”
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) August 16, 2019
Assistant coach Simon Raiwalui knows Australia face a huge challenge at the Auckland venue.
“Obviously there’s a history but we’ve been solely focused on what’s in front of us. It’s all in the present,” Raiwalui said.
“We’re under no illusions about what we face. It’s a great All Black team full of quality players and they’re going to come out and they’re going to be fizzing.”