Sport

Cheika pumped for pain against All Blacks

READY FOR ALL BLACKS: Australia's Michael Hooper could return for Bledisloe Test this weekend.
READY FOR ALL BLACKS: Australia's Michael Hooper could return for Bledisloe Test this weekend. DAVID ROWLAND

RUGBY UNION: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says there's no place he'd rather be than facing the record-seeking All Blacks than at Eden Park, in Auckland.

It's the toughest challenge in world rugby - New Zealand hasn't lost at the so-called house of pain since 1994 and the last time Australia beat the All Blacks there was back in 1986.

"I'm old fashioned, I look forward to it,” Cheika said before leaving Sydney for Saturday's third Bledisloe Test against the All Blacks.

"It's a great opportunity and it's going to be a tough environment, but that's where you want to be.

"If you don't want to be there playing those games, where do you want to be in footy?

"It's no good to have it all comfortable and rosy.

"When it's tough is when you've got to stand up and it will certainly be tough there, but I'm so looking forward to getting over there and getting into it, it will be great.”

With the exception of Nick Phipps coming in for France-bound Will Genia, it's expected that Cheika will name a relatively unchanged starting XV to the one that beat Argentina 33-21 in London a week ago.

Cheika confirmed abrasive forward Sean McMahon would miss the Test, but said that David Pocock was a strong chance to return via the bench after missing the last two Test matches with injury.

After winning last year's Rugby Championship and reaching the World Cup final, the Wallabies have won just three from nine matches in 2016.

But Cheika said that despite his side's difficult year thus far, he had seen progress and said that the Wallabies would ultimately benefit from their testing season.

"I think the England series we actually played some good footy, we just couldn't get ourselves over the line,” he said.

"We had more and more new players coming in and we're starting to learn the connections, the strategy, the shape of the game and also the mental strength and the belief that we need to have in each other.

"I know that no one wants to hear those things and everyone thinks it's an excuse when a coach puts it out there - I don't care what people think - but they take time to build.”

The All Blacks are looking at a record 18th Test win in a row on Saturday.

"And yes, we want to win every game along the way as well, so you say it's tough, yeah it tough but going through those tough times is good for you as well,” Cheika said.

"To build a consistency of high level play, you need to work at it. It's not just going to come because you snap your fingers. And yeah you'll take a few hits along the way, but so be it.

"But it's still a pretty good place to be and we're enjoying our work everyday when we go to training and the lads have stayed very solid under a fair bit of heat.”

Topics:  all blacks bledisloe cup cheika wallabies


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

McDonald wins tough decision for LNP pre-selection

IN: Jim McDonald won the pre-selection to run for the LNP in the seat of Lockyer at the next state election. Pictured is Jim McDonald and current Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss who will retire at the next state election.

Jim McDonald won the LNP pre-selection for the seat of Lockyer

Lockyer Valley Speedway roars into gear

WINNER: Hatton Vale's Steve Isdale took out the legends race at the Lockyer Valley Speedway on Saturday, February 11.

First Lockyer Valley Speedway was off and racing.

Gatton dancer will take the spotlight at Empire Theatre

STAR: Gatton dancer Baylee Thrupp has been cast as the lead in an upcoming production of Snow White.

Baylee Thrupp will star as Snow White in an upcoming production.

Local Partners

Support groups urge veterans to seek help

Veteran support groups in the region are urging veterans to seek help in the wake of the Senate Inquiry into suicide by ex-service personnel.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

WOULD you ever carry your baby and a semi-automatic gun to the shops?

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!