Adam Ashley-Cooper is determined to end his Wallabies career with a bang, admitting he’s unlikely to continue playing international rugby after the World Cup.
Ashley-Cooper, who has played more than 100 Tests, is preparing for his third World Cup and will move to French rugby later this year to begin a contract with Bordeaux that will take him past his 33rd birthday.
The versatile 31-year-old says he feels more excited about this year’s tournament than his first in 2007 and is determined to enjoy it as much as possible.
“For me to be here is really exciting. Every World Cup is very special.
“In my first in France in 2007, the whole atmosphere was incredible and then, in 2011, it was a bit of a roller-coaster with the win in the quarter-finals (over South Africa) followed by the disappointment of the loss to the All Blacks a week later.
“But this will be special as it will more than likely be my last.
“These could be the last times I put on the green and gold and playing for Australia.
“I am going on to new challenges and, at this stage of my career, I am reflecting a lot more and tying it up with the World Cup would be perfect.”
Ashley-Cooper believes this Wallabies side under Michael Cheika is better prepared than any other he has been a part of and, despite being in the so-called group of death with England and Wales, there’s no reason this team cannot emulate the world champion teams of 1991 and ’99.
“We’ve done a lot of work and I feel we are just far better prepared than in previous years, both mentally and physically,” he said.