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.

Airlie send-off for Rufus tour

ON THEIR WAY: Rufus will wrap up their massive regional tour with a show at Magnums Hotel this month.

Rufus will play at Magnums next week

Taking on a personal touch

PERSONAL: Emily Krause is taking her tour to Magnums Airlie Beach in March.

Emily Dawn will hit up Magnums next month

No better place to plan for knot tying

GET PLANNING: The Whitsunday Wedding and Honeymoon Expo is fast approaching.

Check out the wedding and honeymoon expo next weekend

Local Partners

Do you know this man?

WHITSUNDAY police are on the hunt for a man captured on CCTV footage who they believe may be able to help them with investigations into a recent shop theft.

How Stay at Home Mum blogger Jody Allen struck it big

Jody Allen and Walt Collins will co-host the Seven Network's Stay at Home Mum television series from April.

Jody Allen's star continues to rise at incredible speed

Comedy with extra cheese

Paul Fenech is taking his TV series Fat Pizza on the road for a series of live shows.

Fat Pizza and Housos are coming to town

One of the top five car collections in the world

A 1950 Alvis TB14 Roadster is a highlight in the museum.

Gosford home to largest, privately-owned classic car collection.

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

A MERE two points separated two teams from My Kitchen Rules, in a spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

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

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

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

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!