Michael Hooper says the Wallabies' heartbreaking loss in Dunedin against the All Blacks feels like an eternity ago, which is why he is keen to get a gauge on how far the team has progressed in the two months since.
Since the 35-29 defeat across the ditch, Hooper's Wallabies have come away with two wins against Argentina and two draws against South Africa.
With four Tests remaining after the weekend's third and final Bledisloe Cup instalment, a win would be just reward for the progression the Wallabies say they are making after a forgettable 2016 where they won just six Tests from 15 starts.
"It [beating New Zealand] is the pinnacle for us at the moment," Hooper said. "They're the top team in the world, they're the benchmark. They're doing some really good, unique things on the field, so for us to beat them in front of a home crowd would be fantastic.
"That [Dunedin result] feels like an eternity ago. I'm really excited about testing ourselves again tomorrow against these guys. We've definitely done some good building over the last couple of weeks, which has put us in pretty good stead. You need to play these guys again. Our growth in the game has been particularly strong."
Hooper paid tribute to Stephen Moore, who will play his last game on home soil at Suncorp Stadium off the bench in what will be his 30th outing against the All Blacks.
"He's been really happy this week," Hooper said. "He's going to really enjoy tomorrow. Playing against these guys, [it is] a big Test match and it's going to be fantastic for him. He's been such a great person for this country, this jersey.
"For a lot of guys in this team, myself included, he is a really strong mentor and [I am] really excited to see what he is going to bring to the game because his form has been really, really strong off the bench."
Wallabies No.6 Jack Dempsey will get his first start against the All Blacks and Hooper is buoyed by what his Waratahs teammate produced in his two starts in Bloemfontein and Mendoza.
"He's a big, athletic guy who can do some really good things with ball in hand and in defence," Hooper said. "He's got some really good aggression and I think we need that against the All Blacks tomorrow [Saturday]. I'm excited for him. He's been really kicking down the door to get in these games and I'm sure he'll be fired up tomorrow."
The Wallabies will don a special Indigenous jersey on Saturday and during the week Tim Horan suggested Kurtley Beale should lead Australia out onto the field.
Hooper said he hadn't spoken to Beale about doing so and didn't think that would happen but threw his support behind the jersey and the Australian Rugby Union's initiative.
"[We are] extremely proud to be wearing this jersey tomorrow night," Hooper said. "For certain guys within the team it carries a lot of excitement and a lot of pride and passion there.
"It's always a massive privilege to wear the jersey and this one again is another special and unique opportunity to wear this beautiful jersey tomorrow in a big game at home in Suncorp, we're all very proud to be in this situation."