The Kangaroos were let loose inside the National Zoo on Wednesday, getting up close and personal with some of the world’s deadliest predators.
Roosters captain Boyd Cordner, Broncos back-rower Matt Gillett and Cronulla fullback Valentine Holmes joined Australia coach Mal Meninga on a special backstage tour through the National Zoo ahead of Friday’s World Cup clash against France in Canberra.
The Australian trio, who admitted they were petrified going face-to-face with some of the animals, got to feed the lions and pat the cheetahs on their day off from training commitments.
“The Cheetah was cool,” Holmes said.
“We were scared but our four body guards were all girls. They were way tougher than us. It was great because my favourite animal is a lion. It was unbelievable that I finally got to meet one.”
The players also got a special look at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge, which provides accommodation inside the animal confinements.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Gillett said.
"The Jamala accommodation was unbelievable. The bungalows are right in with the animals with open glass. You literally wake up next to them.
"I’ll definitely be bringing my family back to stay.”