Tahs’ Super Rugby win a boost for Wallabies
AUSTRALIAN rugby fans can now turn their attention to the Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 16 with confidence after the Waratahs' history-making 33-32 Super Rugby grand final win against the Crusaders.
Twelve members of the victorious Tahs squad have been named in the 32-man Wallabies squad to contest the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.
They were excused from day one of the Bush2Bledisloe regional road trip that will take the Wallabies squad through New South Wales this week, with stops at Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst and Penrith.
The Waratahs players - Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Will Skelton, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale (pictured), Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau, Rob Horne and Peter Betham - will join their fellow squad members in Bathurst on Wednesday after what will no doubt a couple of days of memorable celebrations.
The last time an Australian franchise won the Super Rugby competition - the Queensland Reds in 2011 - the Wallabies beat the All Blacks 25-20 in Brisbane two weeks later.
Waratahs and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper wasn't prepared to read anything from the Tahs victory into potential success in the international arena.
"Two weeks in rugby is a long time," was all he would say when asked about the flow-on effect for the Australian side.
Crusaders captain and All Blacks star Kieran Read was similarly circumspect, simply saying two completely different teams would take the field when the Bledisloe Cup kicked off.
SUPER RUGBY RESULT: WARATAHS 33 (A Ashley-Cooper 2 tries; B Foley 7 pens, con) CRUSADERS 32 (M Todd, N Nadolo tries; D Carter con; C Slade 6 pens, con) Crowd: 61,800 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night