Kangaroos back rower Greg Bird believes that the Australian national team still has a bright future, despite losing to the Kiwis for the third successive time at the weekend.
Bird, 30, feels that observers who have claimed that a new era has dawned in international rugby league are being a little premature in their judgement.
“I definitely don’t think it’s the end of an era, it’s just going to motivate the Australian guys who next pull on the jersey to go out and make amends,” Bird said, according to NRL.com.
“There’s still a lot of talent in this team – there’s a lot of football left in these guys.
“Everyone goes back to club land now and there’s not another Test for 12 months so we’ve just got to soak it in and realise the pain we are going through right now.
“When the time comes next year and if everyone is playing football good enough to deserve a spot back within this team you’ll get another opportunity.”
The Kangaroos do not now play another Test match for at least a year, something which frustrates Bird.
The Kiwis will play England in a three-match series at the end of the current season.
“I think [the one-year wait] is one of the hardest things about the loss,” Bird said.
“There might be some guys here who won’t be in the team next year – it is an aging squad.
“It’s going to be a tough wait but fingers crossed we get another opportunity to make amends like I said.
“I think any loss [hurts] when you play for Australia. We expect the best and we expect to be a dominant Australian team.
“There’s a great amount of talent in this team and whenever we don’t go out and play to our potential I think it’s disappointing.”