In just a week’s time, Ireland will be taking on the Wallabies in the first match of a three-Test series at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The last time the two sides played against each other was during an engrossing affair in November 2016 as an injury-ravaged Ireland side, which included Kieran Marmion on the wing, edged out a 27-24 victory at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Although the narrative around this Wallabies team is of one in disarray, it’s easy to forget that Michael Cheika’s side beat the All Blacks last year and they should also have beaten them in Eden Park during the Rugby Championship.
Many will point to their end of year tour where they fell to heavy defeats to England and Scotland but it was clear that injuries played their part and the squad were mentally checked out at the end of a long season (although that shouldn’t be an excuse).
The Australian Super Rugby sides have ended the New Zealand hoodoo and it looks like the Waratahs could have a decent attempt at getting to a Super Rugby final considering some of the impressive performances they have put in already this season.
So there is hope for Wallabies’ supporters and above all is the form of Israel Folau. The full-back who has spent much of his time courting controversy with his religious views, has been in sensational form on the rugby pitch and he will be a big threat to Ireland.
However, he doesn’t know much about this Ireland side, despite being ranked second in the world and also being Grand Slam Six Nations champions.
“To be honest, I don’t really know too much about the Ireland side,” Folau said when quizzed about what he expects from Joe Schmidt’s side.
“I’m sure as we get into the week we’ll explore their strengths and weaknesses as a team and we’ll go from there.”
You would expect that Folau should have a greater understanding of the threats that Ireland will pose on Saturday but think he will know all about them once he lines out the Suncorp Stadium at the weekend.