And so the test rugby season has begun. It is bound to be an interesting one for a code in the midst of what can only be called confusion. If we are honest, we must admit that this Super Rugby season is one best forgotten for all Australian teams involved. The Waratahs have been consistently inconsistent and all save the Brumbies, quite frankly forgettable.
With an answer on the fate of our Australian teams nowhere in sight, it is bound to be an interesting time for those wearing the green and gold. With no stellar team performances across the Super Rugby competition, talent can really come from anywhere. I can only imagine the importance of earning a place in the squad when your future is clouded by such uncertainty.
The team fielded against Fiji on Saturday was a little surprising to me. I know Genia played well but I cannot help but question if the opportunity to give someone younger experience at the top level was wasted. Another selection I have to question is that of Hunt at 12. Are there not scores of young guys, specialists in that position, who would kill to play at that level?
There is no doubting that Foley is our best 10 and not likely to go anywhere anytime soon. I want to see that 10 and 12 combination developed into a real strength. We have plenty of talented, quick guys that can be unleashed by a solid platform in centre field. Throwing an in form fullback in at 12 is not the answer, proven by the Folau experiment undertaken by the Waratahs.
There were a number of great performances. Foley stood tall and seems to have maintained his confidence, vital to giving those around him faith in his decision-making. Hooper was valiant as always, in everything and having an impressive impact wherever he went.
Surely the time has come for him to be given the captaincy on a permanent basis? What more does he have to do? He is one of few guaranteed a spot in the starting side and has now gained experience as captain of the Waratahs. Moore has always given his all, but the time has come for Hooper to be rewarded for his consistently stellar and inspiring performances.
While we got away with the win there were certainly a few kinks that will need ironing out before facing tougher opponents. I would have been happier with a bigger score posted and Fiji denied any tries, but I will take the win. Next week will require a much more polished effort and I believe we can deliver.
Australian rugby might be in a state of flux but now is the time for our players to come together and stand tall for our country and our code. The winning feeling may have eluded us in the Super competition but this is our chance to chase it. Go well boys, for Australia and for Australian rugby.