Competition high within Wallabies squad

RUSSELL JACKSON
Last updated 10:47 07/11/2012

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The presence of several returning seasoned Wallabies in Europe has the Australians buzzing, as competition for places in Robbie Deans' side heats up in Paris.

The likes of David Pocock (knee), Stephen Moore (hamstring) and Drew Mitchell (knee) are all back to work for Australia after battling injuries, providing Deans with plenty of quality options for the four-match European tour that starts against France on Saturday.

Halfback Nick Phipps said the presence of the senior players has given the squad a tremendous boost.

"It's good to have all the boys back. Not just for their playing ability but they add a lot to the group too. Guys like Drewy (Mitchell), Cliffy (Wycliff Palu), Moorey (Stephen Moore) ... they are always good to have around," Phipps told AAP in Paris on Tuesday.

"There's so much great competition in the squad. Hoopy (Michael Hooper) and Poey (Pocock) and then Moorey and Tauf (Tatafu Polota-Nau) and Drewy and Cummo (Nick Cummins) too.

"It (competition) raises the level of the team and is great for the playing group as well ... I think the excitement in the team is pretty prevalent. It's a really tight team, everyone's really close and enjoying each others company, we've got four weeks ahead of us in Europe and we're really looking forward to it."

The Melbourne No 9 said the squad seemed fresh and over their long-haul flight after arriving on Sunday.

"We're all good. We had a gym session this morning and everyone was sort of bouncing around and Robbie looked pretty happy too," he said.

"We'd love to have four strong games to let Australia know we are back to competing with the top sides in the world."

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- AAP

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