Governor-General Peter Cosgrove says he’s sure the Wallabies “will make all Australians very proud” in their Rugby World Cup clash with the All Blacks.
On the eve of the final at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT) Sir Peter said the cohesion of the Wallabies as a team and the “individual brilliance” of the players put them in good stead.
“The best two teams in the world are about to compete for the William Webb Ellis trophy,” the patron of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) told reporters at Australia House in London.
Sir Peter said the All Blacks were “a really champion side, a side we really admire”.
“But on the other hand we come with great hope and energy. I’m pretty sure the team will make all Australians very proud.”
Sir Peter, who served on the ARU’s board of directors from 2007 to 2013, said the Wallabies had been playing at such a high level lately that “very good players have become even better”.
“But the real thing is their cohesion as a team … it’s marvellous to see the way these young men, with steel in their eyes, look at each other when the times are tough.”
Sir Peter said that was exemplified in the game against Wales “where they just tackled themselves to a standstill”.
“That sort of thing in the game against New Zealand, I think, is going to make us extremely proud of them.”
The governor-general said Michael Cheika was a “revelation as a coach”, down to earth but also a “great rugby brain” who got the best out his players both individually and as a team.
“You can tell, these young men, they’re playing for each other.
“Australia will win this game because I just have that feeling that Australia is up for the game.”