Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty and his teammates train on Waiheke Island. Picture: rugby.com.au
Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty and his teammates train on Waiheke Island. Picture: rugby.com.au

Last resort for Wallabies

WAIHEKE Island was voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 must-visit places in the world.

It has just 10,000 residents, and many wealthy Kiwi investors have holiday homes on the resort off the coast of Auckland.

It boasts several world-class wineries and restaurants, olive farms, and pristine beaches.

And it is in these secluded, plush surrounds that the wounded Wallabies are plotting to create one of the biggest upsets in their history.

Not having beaten the All Blacks in Auckland since 1986, coach Michael Cheika decided to shake up the routine this year and take his squad to Waiheke, a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland's wharf.

It is an odd choice, but clearly the old methods didn't work.

While most tourists are drawn here for wine-tasting, the Wallabies are likely to only be tasting sweat ahead of Saturday's showdown.

Aerial view of Putaki Bay in Waiheke Island. Picture: istock
Aerial view of Putaki Bay in Waiheke Island. Picture: istock

Australia's bruised players held a recovery session on Monday, and will have intense training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.

"We do this quite often, changing up the camp locations, we were in the Hunter Valley two weeks ago so it's something we do quite a lot so it's not monotonous," Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty said.

"It's often a nice change for the boys doing different things when we do get away from rugby."

Haylett-Petty said the move to Waiheke this year had nothing to do with keeping away from the prying eyes of All Blacks spies or the sledging of their fans.

"[It's] pretty beautiful," Haylett-Petty said.

"Waking up to this is pretty good. We haven't had much time to see anything yet but I'm sure on the day off we'll get around the island and do something."



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