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Wallabies must adopt the All Blacks’ culture

Wallabies must adopt the All Blacks' culture


After a comprehensive 2-0 series loss to the mighty All Blacks, the gap is still getting wider between Trans-Tasman nations.


What are the Kiwis doing to have such an advantage over the Aussies?

The Wallabies may need to look at their underlying culture that has been fractured since they won the World Cup in 1999.

The Wallabies were blown out 57-22 in Game 2 of the 2021 Bledisloe Cup. This loss was a stark reminder of how much better the All Blacks are at the current time.

The Wallabies had 20 instances of defenders missing tackles in Game 2, to just 13 misses by New Zealand. Then their attack was disrupted by four ruck wins that stalled any offensive set piece.

The stats don’t lie. The All Blacks are a better rugby side than the Wallabies and have been for the past 20 years. Change is needed desperately.


(Photo by Getty Images)

Why do the All Blacks win so often? First, let us look at their culture.

The All Blacks have been the world leaders in establishing a set of principles that drive on-field performance.

The book Legacy by James Kerr outlines some of the practices that the Kiwis implement to drive their standards.

One of the most well-known team rules is that the All Blacks jersey never touches the floor. The jersey is respected to such a high level and it is believed that a jersey on the ground is a highly disrespectful act.


The reason for this rule was to honour the sacrifice the former players that had worn the black jersey had shown.

The other key team rule that helped set the expectations within the team is the cleaning rule. The rule insists that the players are the ones that clean the change room after a game.

Staff members are not to clean up after the players, as the players and staff are equal and therefore share the clean-up duties.

This subtle act helps create better people first, then improves football ability. People over performance is why they have dominated world rugby for so long.

The Wallabies can adopt similar principles in their four walls. After their culture is changed for the better, then they need the talent to help their current squad.


Rugby union is losing too many talented juniors to rugby league even though most of the football high schools play union.

Schools like St Josephs Nudgee and Church Grammar School produce amazing rugby union players but lose them to the financial security that the NRL offers.

Angus Crichton of the Roosters celebrates with teammates

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Rugby union must increase their sponsorship level to then have enough money to pay youngsters to keep them in the game.

But a strong culture will attract talent regardless of the money offered. They will play union, as they want to pull on the Wallabies jersey.


That is the utopia that Rugby Australia must aim for and implement: youth wanting to play for the jersey not for a big bank cheque.

The culture that has been so successful for the All Blacks needs to be the blueprint for the revival of the Wallabies.

If their system is not fixed first, then any amount of on-field talent will not help them win games of football.

A good culture allows a team to dig a little deeper and defend their try line a little harder in the latter part of games.

The Australian public want to see their Wallabies reach the heights of the golden era of the ’90s. Let’s give them what they want.