Australian Army to help Wallabies prepare for World Cup
The Australian Army's elite special forces will help prepare the Wallabies for next year's World Cup under a new formal alliance between Rugby Australia and the military.
Under the agreement, the Wallabies will take part in commando-style boot camps run by some of Australia's toughest and most skilled soldiers.
Australian teams will also start training at military facilities around the country as well as working with the army on a range of reciprocal programs, including leadership development and injury management.
In announcing the pact, Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle said the Wallabies and the army had been intertwined for over a century so it made perfect sense to establish a formal partnership.
"I think it's something that will evolve," she said.
"Early on we've got the facilities use, which I think is great, but as we start to find the opportunities to work more closely together, and we have talked about boot camps and those sorts of things."
Brigadier Ben James said the Wallabies were already "pretty tough" so any training they did alongside Australia's elite front line fighters would be mutually beneficial.
"The sorts of programs that we're already involved in (such as) Performance Under Pressure will most likely involve training alongside our special forces soldiers," he said.
"So when those lights come on and when our young Australians are leading soldiers in overseas operations then they turn up and deliver to their full potential when it really counts."
While the details of when the Wallabies might participate in their first camp have not been worked out, the players can expect to be pushed to their absolute limits, both physically and mentally.
For frustrated Wallaby fans, the prospect of the team getting joining forces with the army could not come soon enough as they prepare to head to Europe for their final three matches of 2018.
Last weekend's loss to New Zealand in Yokohama saw the Wallabies suffer their third loss in 10 Tests this year, ensuring they will end 2018 in the red even if they win their remaining matches against Wales, Italy and England.
Despite the team's dismal record, Castle insisted the Wallabies were still building nicely towards the World Cup and the three defeats to New Zealand would ultimately prove to be beneficial.
"No-one's suggesting we're happy with the lack of wins (but) we also play the All Blacks more than any other country in the world," she said.
"We played Ireland earlier on in the year, they're second in the world and beat them in the first test and arguably should have won that series.
"I think as we move into the UK tour it's a slightly different style of rugby, a different emphasis and I think the preparation the All Blacks will have given us is the best platform we could have going into the Spring tour."