Former New Zealand rugby player Daryl Gibson, who now heads NSW Waratahs, stated it would not be wise to underestimate Australian Super Rugby teams in 2014.
In 2011, The Queensland Reds were the only Australian team to have won a Super title. As the Melbourne Rebels joined the competition three years ago, there were lot of speculation on the strength of Australian rugby.
However, per the IRB world ranking statistics, Australia stands at No. 3 position with 86.88 points and New Zealand at No.1 spot with 93.81.
Gibson, who is enjoying his second season with Waratahs, said, "Across the board, Australian teams have improved quite a bit."
"We all want to make sure that our conference is respected and I think so far the performances of all the Australian teams against foreign opposition has been very good."
"Putting my New Zealand cap on here, we always knew Australian sides were very well prepared for this time of the year."
"(But) since my time in Australia, I think the New Zealand teams probably underestimate the Australian conference, and I think that's a general sort of feeling - that the Australian conference is the weaker one."
"In my view, that's incorrect and something as a conference and all teams would be keen to rectify and make sure that we're a respected force."
Dave Dennis, captain of NSW Waratahs, was also pleased about the consistent performance of Australian Super Rugby franchise teams.
He said on Thursday, "You look at the way the (Western) Force are going. They've had a couple of good wins now."
"The (Melbourne) Rebels started well, the (Queensland) Reds are always there and the (ACT) Brumbies are getting back to that winning way after a slow start."
"So it's always going to be tough in this conference and I think definitely this year every team's performance is a lot more consistent in terms of the quality of it."
"It's a good sign for Australian rugby."