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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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ARU boss says Wallabies are primed to dominate All Blacks
John O’Neill has just piled a lot of pressure onto Robbie Deans’ four nations campaign.

ARU BOSS JOHN O’Neill believes the Wallabies are finally in the right mental state to end a decade of misery against the All Blacks.

Robbie Deans’ side managed one victory against the All Blacks in each of the past two years, but it’s been 10 long years since Australia tasted a series victory against the Kiwis.

The two sides will meet twice in August as part of the inaugural Rugby Championship before playing a stand-alone Bledisloe Test in Brisbane on October 20.

“Our ambition is to win the Bledisloe Cup and to win the Rugby Championship, it would be inappropriate if that was not our ambition,” O’Neill said at ARU headquarters on Thursday.

“Of course our ambition every year is to win it, I just think we’re in a better space this year than we have been for some time.”

“We’ve had better form against the All Blacks, ok we got beaten in the semi-final of the World Cup which was disappointing, but the win a bit earlier in August at Suncorp Stadium was I guess a sign of what we’re capable of.

“We know we’re capable but now we’ve got to produce consistency. They’re a year older, a bit wiser and better prepared which puts us in a better space.

“It’s fine margins, that’s the nature of these contests … but I think our mental state is as good as it possibly could be.”

Gregan, who will take part in Classic Wallabies v Classic All Blacks golf day in Sydney on the eve of the first Bledisloe Test in Sydney on July 18, said consistency is the key for the current Australian team.

“I think the Australian team has the capacity to do it but it’s one thing saying it, it’s going out on the field and doing it in the highest level of pressure, and that’s definitely the case against the All Blacks,” Gregan said.

“I think they’re tracking in a positive way but that word consistency is important and I think that series they had against Wales is really going to help them with that.

Challenge

“It’s another level up now in terms of the teams you’re going to be playing, you factor in the travel and all those types of things, but it’s a nice challenge ahead.

The Wallabies last lifted the coveted trans-Tasman trophy in 2002, when George Gregan was captain.

“And if they can overcome all those things and be consistent with their performance then you’re seeing signs of a really good team growing to another level.”

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