Staying in Penrith for the first part of the week, the Wallabies are removed from the usual Moore Park surrounds of other Sydney weeks, a change skipper Michael Hooper is enjoying.
“The facilities are fantastic out here, so we're able to stay and walk to our grounds and really have that focus on footy and connect with the people out here,” he said.
Though they’re out of the inner-city bubble, things are starting to get real fast for the Wallabies and Hooper, for one, can’t wait.
“You just want to test where the team's at, test to see (where) the attitude, all that stuff is,” he said.
“I'm keen as anyone to get out there, run out there on Saturday night in Sydney.”
The Wallabies have spent the better part of three weeks training, either in their home bases or as a group, a silver lining of a dismal Super Rugby season.
“I think the result at the end of the day lies on us, how we track, how much we believe in our systems and right now it's been really strongly for the last couple of weeks,” Hooper said.
“One of the benefits of not being in the finals, was being able to get together so early and bond away from footy and do the hard work so far out from the games. now, we're finally here, it's time to focus on what we're here to do.”
Wallabies staff had a tour of the Panthers Rugby League Academy on Monday morning, and Hooper crossed paths with Panthers counterpart Matt Moylan.
Photo: Penrith Panthers. Caption: Anthony Griffin and Michael Cheika at Penrith's Rugby League academy.