The Wallabies have absorbed a week of supporter fury and are ready to let it out on an inexperienced Italy in Saturday’s Test, captain Stephen Moore says.
But, the veteran hooker warned Australia needed to find their motivation from within – not from external sources like Jack Quigley’s now-infamous viral Facebook rant.
The Lismore rugby fanatic struck a chord with a frustrated domestic support base as more than 50,000 people endorsed his lengthy open letter to Michael Cheika, which prompted a return phone call from the coach on Monday as he dealt with the issue.
Cheika printed it out and posted it on the walls of the team’s training base this week in Brisbane to ensure they received the message after last weekend’s horror loss to Scotland.
Moore, who has been named for his first start of the season against the Azzurri after two Tests on the bench, said it had been received.
“Cheik handled that pretty well early in the week and was probably talking to all the fans when he was speaking to that person,” Moore said on Thursday.
“I was just staggered that he had 18 beers – that was a lot, I probably wouldn’t have that many in a couple of weeks.
“It’s about the sentiment that’s generally out there and, if that’s the case, if we’re not conveying how we want to play to our fans and supporters, that’s our issue to deal with.
“For me, that’s a big part of playing for your country – you’re representing everybody.
“There’s a lot of people who want us to do well and we feel the frustration when it doesn’t go well.
“It’s a big week, no doubt, particularly after last week. The game can’t come quick enough for everyone.”
However, Moore said it was dangerous to let results – much less social media posts – dictate how they behaved.
“Sure, we certainly feel how the fans feel as well and we take that all on board… (but) we want to be consistent,” he said.
“At the end of the day, you need your own motivation and it’s got to be something that comes from within.
“If you’re looking for external motivation, that’s a little bit shallow.”
Moore will become the 10th most-capped international player in Test history on Saturday, surpassing Italy’s Martin Castrogiovanni and England’s Jason Leonard in making his 120th appearance.