Rugby Championship challenge has Hooper buzzing
Australia captain Michael Hooper is looking forward to the Rugby Championship and hopes they can improve on a poor run of results.
The Wallabies reached the World Cup final four years ago but were beaten 34-17 by New Zealand at Twickenham.
Results since that reverse have not been great, however, with the men from Down Under winning just 17 of 42 Tests over the past four years.
With the 2019 World Cup pencilled in for later this year, the Aussies will be hoping for an encouraging show in the southern hemisphere competition and take on South Africa on July 21 in their opening match.
Coach Michael Cheika has taken his men to Africa two weeks before that clash to get used to conditions and Hooper is upbeat about their chances with a full squad to pick from.
"Really excited to get away," he told reporters at Sydney airport. "We've been doing some real hard yards up until this point.
"It's the first time we're really getting the full squad together, the Brumbies coming in today, and getting on the plane together and going to work. Everyone is so excited about the job."
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.