Jeff Horn gets in the ring for the Wallabies
BOXING underdog Jeff Horn has roused the Wallabies to rediscover their armour of selfbelief to floor a world champion.
The Brisbane welterweight spoke impressively when likening the quest to knock out the All Blacks to his own leap of faith to take down ring legend Manny Pacquiao.
His arrival at Wallabies training at Ballymore was major inspiration for part-time pug Quade Cooper because he knew all about Horn’s unseen toil in the gym.
Low blows have rained on the Wallabies since angry fan Jack Quigley’s dam-bursting Facebook post berated the sloppy 24-19 loss to Scotland.
Horn was an ideal voice on fighting back, having been picked on as a schoolboy before he laced on the gloves.
“You’ve got to get your confidence up, like boxing did for me, and belief is like armour,” he said.
Ruthlessly beating a young Italian side, with a volley of five or six killer tries, must be the way for the Wallabies at a half-empty Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Horn is $6 to knock out Pacquiao on July 2 at the same venue and many rate the Wallabies at similar odds to topple the Kiwis on August 19 in Sydney.
“Sometimes it just takes getting a rival at the right time and the Wallabies being in the zone, like I want to be on my fight day,” Horn said.
“It’s then that amazing things can happen.”
Cooper’s zeal for the comparison was instant and he threw a haymaker at keyboard warriors launching barbs at the care factor within the Wallabies.
“Jeff is a massive inspiration for us ... he has a massive challenge fighting Manny and that’s like us as footballers with Italy and later the All Blacks for the Bledisloe Cup,” Cooper said.
Coach Michael Cheika admirably phoned Quigley for a chat on Monday after the fanatic’s anger stirred an army of 42,000-plus disgruntled Facebook believers.
Quigley had slated the Wallabies for “quite literally hurting people with your lack of application to your jobs”.
“I’m not saying it (criticism) is unfair … and to see passion from fans is great,” Cooper said.
“The boys are working hard. We want to get trophies, we’re aiming at the All Blacks for the Bledisloe and we want Australian rugby back to the high standards we set for ourselves.”