Moore joins Paul in record haul
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Moore joins Paul in record haul

Former Australian hooker Jeremy Paul claims the Wallabies are a better team thanks to yesterday's emergency recall of Stephen Moore to the starting pack, predicting the Wallabies can cause a boilover against the All Blacks in Auckland tomorrow night.

And Moore said any late switches to the Wallabies squad could not be used as an excuse in the preparation, declaring ''we've just got to go out and do it''.

Stephen Moore will join Jeremy Paul as Australia's most capped hooker on Saturday night.

Stephen Moore will join Jeremy Paul as Australia's most capped hooker on Saturday night.Credit:Quentin Jones

Moore has been promoted from the Wallabies bench in place of hooker Tatafu-Polota Nau, who yesterday ruled himself out of a starting role because of a corked buttock.

Moore will play his 72nd Test match, equalling former ACT Brumbies player Jeremy Paul as the most capped Australian hooker of all time.

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Paul said Moore deserved to be in first place, also praising the promotion of fellow Brumbies prop Ben Alexander.

''I think the Wallabies are a far better side [than last week] to be honest. I never understood why Moore wasn't there,'' Paul said.

''One hundred per cent, I honestly believe Australia can win the game this weekend.

''I never thought they could win it last week, I think their selections weren't good enough. I honestly believe they can go to Auckland and win this game … this is a true test of character for the Wallabies.''

Moore and Alexander bring a Brumbies combination to the front row, a link which Paul believes was missing in the opening Bledisloe Cup loss to New Zealand.

Paul said both players were robbed at the Australian selection table because of their unselfish leadership roles with the Brumbies this season.

''It was the senior players at the Brumbies who stood tall this year. That was the huge success this year, the likes of Steve Moore and Benny Alexander,'' Paul said.

''To me they were the shining lights because trying to do the young kids' jobs and your own job and lead the team, it's a phenomenal effort.

''I thought those two had awesome seasons this year and I was very surprised they weren't picked from the start.''

The Wallabies have not won at Eden Park since 1986 and haven't won in New Zealand since 2001.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is yet to name his reserves bench because of injury concerns, but Moore said any late switches would not be an excuse for another failure.

''Definitely not, these guys that have come have been training with the group for a long time so there's no excuses,'' Moore said. ''There's nothing left to say other than we've just got to go out and do it.

''There's no point going over there if we don't think they're beatable. Every team's beatable. We're well aware of their record at Eden Park, it's a big challenge. We've got to do everything right, but we have to go into this game confident we can win.''

Moore said he was humbled to join Paul as Australia's most capped hooker, their careers having crossed paths.

''To equal Jeremy Paul's record, I'm pretty proud and honoured about that,'' Moore said.

''He's been a big influence on my career, particularly in the early stages when I was first coming into the Wallabies squad. I took a lot of advice from him.''

Paul said: ''I remember saying to [then Wallabies coach] John Connolly, you've got to get Steve Moore in, he's going to be the best hooker that ever played for Australia. I always thought he had huge potential.

''I always rated Phil Kearns as the greatest hooker ahead of me, so to have someone like Steve Moore break my record I don't think it could be broken by a better bloke.''

TOMORROW

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Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand v Australia, at Eden Park, 5.35pm.

TV time: Live on WIN and Fox Sports 3

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