Wallabies face first France test in bold plan for world domination

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·Contributor
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Michael Hooper, James Slipper and Dave Rennie, pictured here at the Wallabies captain's run.
Michael Hooper, James Slipper and Dave Rennie at the Wallabies captain's run. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Coaches don’t normally like their players to make bold statements before a ball has been kicked, but we reckon Wallabies boss Dave Rennie privately loved the words that fell from tearaway forward Rob Valetini's lips a few days ago.

In case you missed it, the young backrower declared: "I think it’s a great chance for us to be No.1 in the world if we win all these games.

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"By the end of the year we could be No.1 in the world. That’s something I see and hopefully the other boys see. It all starts here."

By starting here, Valetini means Wednesday night's first eToro Test against an undermanned and inexperienced France at Suncorp Stadium.

And if his vision for Australian supremacy is to be realised, it would require a three-Test clean sweep over the visitors followed by a repeat against the All Blacks over three Tests, a couple of wins over both South Africa and Argentina and an undefeated run on the end-of-year Spring tour.

Just to rewind for a second, the Wallabies currently sit seventh in the world after winning just one from six last year - a dead rubber victory over New Zealand.

Well, we do tell our kids to dream big. But this is exactly the sort of mindset Rennie wants in his players.

He's sick of the men in gold being pushovers and accepting defeat after defeat. It's just as telling the players he leaves out of his side as the ones selected.

Wallabies begin quest for world domination against France

Rennie has called on his men to be ruthless and become "different creatures" by adopting a more aggressive approach.

And the likes of Valetini are his blueprint.

The 22-year-old is all energy, enthusiasm and desire either side of the ball.

Reputations mean nothing to him. Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper still winces when he recalls an opposed training session with a fired-up Valetini three years ago.

There are players still wearing the bruises he inflicted during a stand-out Super Rugby season with the Brumbies.

Rob Valetini, pictured here during a Wallabies training session.
Rob Valetini looks on during a Wallabies training session. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Valetini is not worried about what has gone before him but what is to come.

Rennie is thinking along similar lines, stacking his first Test team of 2021 with a host of players with 10 internationals or less on their CVs.

"We've got a lot of blokes who have made big steps from last year and are only going to get better," the coach promised.

"We're building nicely."

Beating a French side minus a posse of its front-line players is a non-negotiable if Rennie wants buy-in from wary Wallabies fans.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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