Wallabies captain Hooper dreaming of Bledisloe Cup success
Australia skipper Michael Hooper sees nothing wrong with the Wallabies targeting Bledisloe Cup silverware as they bid to upstage the All Blacks.
It has been 15 years since the Wallabies claimed a Bledisloe Cup series but they have the chance to end that run, starting in game one in Sydney on Saturday.
While Australia are refusing to look too far ahead following last year's humiliating 42-8 defeat to New Zealand at ANZ Stadium, Hooper is daring to dream.
"This group hasn't been through the 10 or 12 or however many years. This group has come together this year," Hooper said on Friday.
"What's wrong with a dream? What's wrong with a goal that everyone here wants to achieve? There's nothing wrong with it.
"That's what we should be aspiring to, and wanting. Everyone in our change room has that mentality."
Rugby league convert and former NRL star Curtis Rona is set to debut on the wing in the Rugby Championship opener.
Kurtley Beale will also make his international return, having not featured for the Wallabies since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
"New Zealand are really good at that 60-minute mark of that continued pressure," Hooper said. "They know their roles really well, and that's their bench included.
"Our bench hasn't seen the enthusiasm in the last couple of games that we probably would've liked to have seen so picked a really strong bench, guys like Lopeti [Timani], [Sekope] Kepu in the front row and Tevita [Kuridrani] to come on.
"Some guys to really up the tempo, up the enthusiasm and some really nice skill set and experience on the bench to close out a game."
Meanwhile, Wallabies skills specialist Mick Byrne is expecting a high-intensity contest, adding: "We are going to play a running game.
"That is the way [head coach] Michael Cheika has been building-up all his teams, to run the ball and to play hard. Our challenge is to hang on to it. If we are going to run the ball, hang on to it and back our skills. I think you are going to see a pretty frenetic game."