Wallabies back 2015 ANZAC tour
June 22, 2012
Wallabies No.8 Wycliff Palu has backed the 2015 ANZAC tour © Getty Images
The Wallabies have thrown their weight behind proposals for an ANZAC tour to the northern hemisphere in 2015.
The tour has been suggested as a suitable way of marking the centenary anniversary of Australian and New Zealand troops landing at Gallipoli during the First World War. Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill has suggested that a combined Australia/ All Blacks side could face the British & Irish Lions at Twickenham and Wallabies No.8 Wycliff Palu has backed the proposals.
"Guys would look forward to that and aim to get into that team," Palu said. "A lot of people would like to watch it and guys would like to be a part of that squad, so it'd be good for rugby if it gets off the ground."
Australian flyer Drew Mitchell has also backed the proposals. "It would mean a hell of a lot to all involved," he said. "It's for people higher up the food chain than me to sort out whether it's a year-in year-out thing or if it's something like the Lions where it's every four years and it's a different country each time - but because there's so much history between the two sides on the rugby field and off, it makes a fair bit of sense.
"You wouldn't find too many hands not being put up for that selection."
And Digby Ioane also admitted he would be keen to line up for the select side. He said: "That'd be awesome to be honest ... something to look forward to and try and make that team if it does happen."
Despite the Wallabies rallying around the idea of a tour, O'Neill has stressed that the idea is just a concept and not yet a firm proposal. "Australia and New Zealand on the field of battle were a pretty potent force and a combined All Black-Wallaby team would be a pretty potent force as well," O'Neill said. "We've often speculated whether we should try and emulate what the Lions do and maybe have a combined SANZAR team and bring South Africa into it.
"The concept of a combined SANZAR team or a combined ANZAC team is something that gets bounced around every now and then. It often ends up in the too-hard basket but it's conceptually got some appeal."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.
"I think the work I do in defence gets spoken of a little too much as it comes at the expense of what I do in attack." Brad Barritt talks to Tom Hamilton