Little fan a big hit with Wallabies
A WRITTEN manifesto of the Wallabies’ new identity, hanging on the wall of their hotel in Mendoza, is being kept secret from the public.
But coach Michael Cheika says much of the aims are represented in the viral video of a young fan celebrating last week’s win over South Africa.
Sebastian Natoli’s screaming, floor- slamming support of Australia was captured on camera and watched by the entire Wallabies squad this week. The video, which has garnered nearly 9000 “likes” on the Wallabies’ Facebook page, embodies what the team hopes to instil in a new generation of supporters.
“Every player has watched the video of that little kid,” Cheika said. “I know that’s not what everyone wants to hear, probably. ‘ You’ve got to have results’ and all that, and of course we want that, but we [ also] want kids enjoying the game and watching the Australians play.
“A lot of the guys in this team would have been youngsters when the 1999 World Cup was going on, and they would have been hassling their parents to wake up at 1am and watch the games. That’s what we want people to do.
“I know we’ll always come back to the results. I’m not looking for a way out. Everyone wants to win. But we want to do something else as well.”
Cheika has made a host of changes and had planned to start Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, David Pocock and Ben McCalman.
RAPT: Wallaby Henry Speight with fan Sebastian Natoli.