One of the big ticks given to the Wallabies in recent weeks has been for their new culture, which players say comes down to new coach Dave Rennie.
Embracing diversity has been a key message for the squad under Rennie’s reign and it’s led everyone to playing for something meaningful, Samoan Wallaby Allan Alaalatoa said.
“We just had a team meeting and [Rennie] just stood up and said, 'Oh, one of the Tongan boys has a song for us',” Alaalatoa said.
That Tongan was former Auckland schools star Taniela Tupou – one of at least 13 Polynesian players in Rennie’s current squad.
That isn’t to say the rest of the team hasn’t embraced the Pacific, though, Alaalatoa said.
“That's the best thing about it - it's that genuine feel of wanting to connect,” he said.
“And [it's] definitely a reason to why our culture is growing.”
Forwards coach Geoff Parling, a former England and British and Irish Lions lock, added it’s not just the players buying in.
“The lads have embraced it, the staff have embraced it. It's been awesome,” he said.