Adam Ashley-Cooper was the Wallabies ultimate backline utility, but in the fall of his rugby career, he is hoping for a long run in one position. By the time he had played the eighth of his 117 tries, Ashley-Cooper was already starting at the back, both in the center and at the wing.
Returning to Super Rugby in Australia for the first time since 2015, the 35-year-old has enjoyed the rare luxury of playing only one role this year. Fans have bought their Rugby World Cup Tickets and hoping for their favorite players to perform well in the tournament.
The rotations resulted in many changes in the background of the Waratahs, but Ashley-Cooper’s six departures took place off center.
“It’s a blessing to be able to perform back-to-back performances in the same position,” said Ashley-Cooper.
You can develop your game in this position and really focus on the areas of improvement and your strengths. At the end of my career, I really enjoyed 13 years, because that’s probably where I feel most valuable. Ashley-Cooper has returned from overseas to join the Waratahs this season, with the goal of playing a fourth World Cup.
“I’m focusing on the role here because I know that if I play well here, the World Cup selection will do it alone,” he said.
Ashley-Cooper aims to make more progress when the Waratahs hope to reverse their victory over the Australian leaders of the conference, Melbourne, when they face the Sharks in their first game at the new Bankwest Stadium, west of Sydney on Saturday.
“For us, it’s all about stopping their momentum; it’s a team focused on the winning line,” said Ashley-Cooper.
It’s a team full of big athletes, big bodies and many offensive threats, especially in this third line, so we have a huge job in defense. The Tahs have won a single consecutive victory this season, highlighting their inconsistency by losing at home against the Sunwolves a week after overturning the Crusaders’ benchmark.
“This week, we wanted to move forward and achieve a performance after a good performance,” said Ashley-Cooper.
We are trying to build that consistency because we are at a very important time of the season.
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