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.

Police seek assistance to locate missing man

MISSING: Queensland Police are seeking public assistance to locate Clancy Bligh, 45.

Clancy Bligh, 45, has not been heard from since December 22.

No trucking worries: Recycling service upgraded

HEAVY DUTY: Col Nevell (left) shakes hands with mayor Nev Ferrier as Lions Club volunteers test out the truck's lift.

Callide Valley Lions Club recycling to continue in comfort.

Time to recognise region's modern pioneers

NOMINATIONS EXTENDED: Banana Shire residents have until January 26 to nominate a modern pioneer.

Nomination date extended until January 26.

Local Partners

Every's five-fer puts Teys in prime position

The Primed XI quick took 5/9 last Saturday against the Dawson Valley Taipans to put Teys at the top of the ladder.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!