Ben Alexander says a Waratahs win could spark a Bledisloe Cup bid. Photo: Getty Images
Momentum is hard to stop and Wallabies prop Ben Alexander believes if the NSW Waratahs win their inaugural Super Rugby title it will help springboard the Australian side to ending its 12-year Bledisloe Cup drought.
Having seen the Waratahs' staunch defence first hand, ACT Brumbies bookend Alexander thinks the Tahs have what it takes to win their maiden title when they face the Canterbury Crusaders at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
This means the Wallabies could win back the Bledisloe Cup, which the All Blacks have held since 2003.
The Waratahs include 11 members of Ewen McKenzie's 32-man squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship campaign, which opens against the Kiwis at ANZ Stadium on August 16.
Alexander has backed the Brumbies' fiercest rivals to win their first Super Rugby title and wants them to use that momentum against the All Blacks two weeks later.
He witnessed a similar lift when the Queensland Reds won the title in 2011.
"You look at guys like [Tatafu Polota-Nau], Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Bernard Foley, Israel Folau - if those guys go and win the title the confidence that they'll bring to the group will be huge," Alexander said.
"We saw it when the Reds won it. Guys like Willy Genia and Quadey [Cooper], James Horwill brought a lot of momentum and brought a lot of positive energy into the Wallabies when the Reds won it in 2011.
"I really hope that those guys do the job and bring the momentum to the Wallabies and it'll be a good season."
The Brumbies also have 11 players in McKenzie's squad.
While the Super Rugby province is losing 17 players and staff from this year's set-up, Alexander was confident they had the core to challenge for the 2015 title.
He said the bulk of that core were young but starting to become experienced campaigners.
Another Wallabies campaign will only further help their development.
"It's all experience. We had two guys, [Jesse Mogg] and [Sam Carter], play their 50th games [on Saturday]," he said.
"A lot of the young guys, [Nic White]'s played 50, [Matt] Toomua's played 50 this year, [Henry Speight]'s played 50, so there's a lot of guys who are now really experienced Super Rugby players and have still got their best footy ahead of them."
Brumbies and Wallabies playmaker Toomua also hopes the Australian Super Rugby teams' momentum will carry on into the international season.
The Waratahs have made the grand final, the Brumbies made the semis and the Western Force fell one win short of their first finals campaign.
"It's bloody exciting ... hopefully this momentum can carry on. We've still got a massive task ahead of us in terms of trying to get a win against the All Blacks," Toomua said.
"But it helps having two Aussie teams up there and hopefully it helps with confidence if an Australian team can win the Super Rugby title."
But White was more circumspect, saying to ensure the long-term success of Australian rugby the Aussie Super Rugby teams needed to back it up next year.
They can't afford to rest on their laurels or the fans will vote with their feet.
"It is heading in the right direction, this is what Australian rugby needs at the moment, but it needs to be consistent," White said.
"Next year we need Aussie sides at the pointy end of the Super Rugby table.
"If we want fans to come back ... it's a pretty flooded market here in Australia, so it has to happen all the time if we going to bring fans back. We need to have semi-finals with two Aussie sides more often."