Dane Haylett-Petty confident of ending Australia's Bledisloe Cup drought

Dane Haylett-Petty believes Australia are closing on New Zealand
Dane Haylett-Petty believes Australia are closing on New Zealand

Australia fullback Dane Haylett-Petty said that Wallabies are desperate to end the Bledisloe Cup drought when they face their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in this year's Rugby Championship tournament that kicks-off in August.

The last time Australia went on to win the Bledisloe Cup was in 2002 and has overall won the competition just 12 times as compared to New Zealand, who managed to clinch it for the 46th time last year.

This year's annual competition will begin on 18th August in Sydney followed by the second game in the Rugby Championship on 25th August in Auckland while the final game will be played in Japan on 26th October.

The opening game of the last year's competition saw New Zealand register a 34-54 victory to begin the series but Australia gradually improved as the season went on as they lost the second game with a 34-29 margin before going on to win the final game in Brisbane by 23-18.

To help the team get into the groove before they face the All Blacks, head coach Michael Cheika has organised a trial game in Sydney against an Aussie Super Rugby Selection side that will also include players from Western Force.

"We feel like we are getting closer each and every year, and the confidence is building," Haylett-Petty said.

"We feel ready for this year. There's a huge hunger.

"The Crusaders are pretty special at the moment. But the gap is definitely closing. We (Australian Super Rugby sides) won a few games against the Kiwis this year.

"And from inside the camp when you're training together and you see some of the quality within our group, there's a lot of belief there that we're heading in the right direction."

Haylett-Petty, who featured for the Western Force before they were axed from the Super Rugby competition was in Perth on Monday to promote next year's Bledisloe Cup contest to be played at the venue which will also be the first game between Wallabies and All Blacks in Western Australia.

It is reported that the fans are still upset about the axing of Western Force and are considering to boycott the game while some are planning to wear the Force jersey over the Wallaby gold.

Speaking about the issue, Haylett-Petty urged the fans to turn in numbers and exhibit their support to Force and Australia in what will be a special event.

"Yes, perhaps wear your Force jumper, that might be a way of demonstrating your concerns," he said.

"But why would you deprive yourself of watching this event, which is the first ever Bledisloe Cup in WA? Why would you do that to yourself?

"I can't concede that that's a good idea."