Australia coach Michael Cheika has no doubt over his team’s hunger to regain the Bledisloe Cup as they prepare to face New Zealand again.
Cheika’s side shocked the All Blacks in Perth last weekend, claiming a 47-26 victory in the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches this year, with the return fixture taking place in Auckland on Saturday.
New Zealand’s defeat saw them surrender their grip on the Rugby Championship title, while they must win at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy the Wallabies have not held since 2002.
Cheika told a news conference: “The Bledisloe Cup means a lot. It doesn’t just mean a lot when you have it, it means probably more when you don’t have it.
“That pursuit of trying to get it sometimes you sit off and you sort of defer it and say we’ll take the game in our stride.
“But that’s only hiding from the fact that we know we haven’t had it for a long time and we’re hungry to go there and do our best to try and take a trophy obviously.
“We know we’re going to come up against an excellent opponent who is going to be ready to go as well and that’s why I suppose the game is so looked forward to and anticipated.”
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) August 15, 2019
Cheika’s sentiments were echoed by Australia captain Michael Hooper.
“I said it last week, these are the games you want to be a part of and even a level up again this week for some of the stuff,” Hooper said.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity to be involved in. You go down to a place where many a generation of Wallabies hasn’t won down there.
“You’re coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line, yeah it’s fantastic being on the other receiving end and it certainly ups the hunger.”
The Wallabies have just one further match ahead of the Rugby World Cup following the clash with the All Blacks, as they face Samoa in a friendly on September 7.