Friday , August 6 2021

Aussie veteran eyes 4. Rugby World Cup

Cape Town – The odds for the 4th World Rugby Championship campaign run Adam Ashley-Cooper almost from the moment of travel in 2015 but even can not fully believe that this year's annual tour with Wallabies.

The vet is open because of his desire to win the Rugby World Cup victory in his fourth campaign in 2019, but in his mind coming through Super Rugby in 2019.

The injury of Reece Hodge has changed everything for a Japanese auxiliary company, whose 116 tests mean he has the right to Australia, no matter where he plays domestic rugby.

Ashley-Cooper joined Wallabies in Japan, and for the first time after returning to talk with the media, he said the Rugby World Cup 2019 never departed from his mind.

"I had three cracks so there was still a fire in the stomach after 2015," he said on Monday at the official website of Rugby Australia in Cardiff.

"I moved abroad to France and returned to Japan but still with this goal and ambition to win the Rugby World Cup because it was still there.

"I did not expect to come to the tour – there are opportunities and there might be a chance for Super Rugby next year to get closer to this World Cup, but besides that I did not expect to come to the tournament."

When Coach Wallabies Michaela Cheike raised the phone last month, Ashley Cooper did not take long to say it was a chance to tour.

"When Cheik called a few weeks ago, I was in Japan who played Top League," he said.

"He talked about the potential for returning to the team and coming to the tour, and I told him to jump on the opportunity.

"Returning to me is really exciting for me and good to go back to the environment. It's been a few years since, but I'm pretty ready to be here."

The 34-year-old has admitted he is not sure whether he will win a test return on a three-week tour with a test against Italy next week, probably his best chance, but that did not change his focus at the camp.

"My focus is preparation for the game," he said.

"I think that through my preparation, I can share things with younger boys, I was just here a week when I'm playing catch.

"But I find my legs every day, and besides preparing for the game, I'm not sure if I'm going to have a chance to play, but if I have some thinking and competing, I'm sure I'm creating a healthy competition team."

Ashley-Cooper said that his priority from the ground was to build some relationship with the new generation of Wallabies that have happened in the past two years.

"In addition to the new faces, this is obviously a young team, but besides, I just picked up the place I gave up a few years ago," he added.

"Guys are still using the same language, similar forms and terminology, but besides that they are just new faces, so I have to establish these relationships.

"For a couple of years, I was not in the mix, so I was doing that."

Wallabies Center Kurtley Beale said Ashley Coopers' influence was already valuable.

"His experience speaks for himself," he said

"To have a player like him among our young guys, who is still growing at this level, is great.

"He is a world class on and off the field.

"I think it's a great addition and it's good to have a wife around what's exciting and has several goals to achieve, and many boys are really excited to bring it back."

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