Wallabies draw energy from returnees

Captain Stephen Moore says the Wallabies have to change the way they play, but have drawn energy from the return of their overseas-based stars.

A train-on squad of 36 was cut down to 33 for the upcoming Rugby Championship with four European domiciled players returning to Australia after missing the June series loss to England.

The quartet are all backs, inside centre Matt Giteau, halfback Will Genia and wingers Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

“When we came out of June we identified a lot of things we need to improve on or some new ideas that we could put in place,” Moore said.

“The players that have come back from Europe have already injected some energy.

“Like Drew Mitchell; he’s good value around the group and he’s always upbeat and really positive to have around.

“Those individuals that come back contribute something to the team and you can really feel the impact that’s had already.

“It’s been noticeable out on the field, the extra voice and the experience, it’s hard to replicate that.

“The guys that have come in this year so far and made their debut have done a great job and they will learn a lot from these players coming back over the next month.

“It’s good to see their desire to play for the Wallabies is still very strong.”

Moore said the past week’s training had been tough and like a mini-pre-season with a lot of strength and conditioning and contact work.

Although head coach Michael Cheika is committed to playing attacking rugby, there will clearly be some tweaks to the Australian style.

“We have to change the way we play,” Moore said.

“On our last few outings we came up short so we need to find ways to be better and the coaches have identified some things that we can do and we’re working on that.”

“But I think for the main part, it’s been consistent around what we do, just sticking to our game plan, but not making too many mistakes under pressure.

“We just need to do everything consistently better.”

He said breaking the Bledisloe Cup drought came down to playing better on the day and while they had started to do that in Australia, it hadn’t been the case in New Zealand.

Moore has moved from the Brumbies to the Reds, but hasn’t yet talked to five-eighth Quade Cooper about joining him in Queensland.

The playmaker returned to Australia following a spell with French club Toulon, but has yet to decide whether to rejoin the Reds.

“I’ll leave him alone to make his decision, I know it’s been made clear that the Reds would love to have him up there next year,” he said.

“Of course I’d love to play alongside him up there, but he’ll make his mind up in his own time.”

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