Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insists Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff bears no relevance to the 2015 World Cup.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insists Saturday’s Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium bears no relevance to the 2015 World Cup.
Australia have been drawn with Wales and England in next year’s World Cup, meaning one of that trio will miss out on qualification for the knock-out stages.
“I’m just looking at one in a row. I think that’s how you look at it at Test level,” said Cheika, the only coach to have won a European Cup (Leinster, 2009) and Super Rugby title (Waratahs, 2014).
“People talk about all these streaks nowadays. They’re actually pretty irrelevant. The only streak you want to be getting is one in a row, the next one you’re playing.”
“The marker now for then (World Cup) is irrelevant.
“The marker now is for now, it’s for Saturday, that’s it. I’ve never seen a game of rugby that has influence on another game of rugby in 12 months time.
“Everything can change. The marker we want to put down is just in relation to this battle, Wales versus Australia.”
Cheika took over the Wallabies after the surprise resignation of Ewen McKenzie, and guided the team to a 40-36 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham last week.
But he insists he is not looking further than the Wales game, with matches against France and Ireland to follow.
“I’ve really tried to stay extremely disciplined at looking just at this game, not even the next one on the tour,” he said.
“So much can happen between even now and next week, let alone now and whenever the World Cup’s on.
“I’m only going to let the lads down by not focusing on the things that need to be attended to do today to ensure that tomorrow is good quality and Saturday as well.”
Cheika also admitted that the media attention his team have garnered since touching down in the northern hemisphere would likely spur them on.
“A lot of people aren’t giving us much of a shout in the UK for these matches,” he said.
“The guys are hungry, we need to bring consistency at a high level.
“It’s going to be up to us to dig our heels in and push to be successful on Saturday.”