Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. DAVE HUNT

Cheika goes quietly with preparation

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says the upcoming three-Test series against England will show just how far the Wallabies have come since losing in the World Cup final to New Zealand last year.

Cheika, who last month extended his coaching contract until the end of 2019, said his players must focus on the job in hand in the first Test in Brisbane on Saturday before thinking about a winning culture.

However, he did say that all the squad knew which direction it needed to head.

“We have a very clear picture internally,” he said.

“It’s there for us on a day-to-day basis.

“The challenge for us is you don’t put it out on a billboard or up on a website.

“The only way our supporters get to see who we are is how we play on a Saturday.”

Cheika (pictured) also paid tribute to boxing great Muhammad Ali, who died on the weekend aged 74.

“We’ve been able to use a part of his aura to help us build our own personalities,” he said.

“We should pay respect to that, even though we don’t know the man, we only know him from his boxing and from his stature, but we’ve used him and his life or what he’s done in his life to help inspire us so.”

The Wallabies coach will cut his squad down from 33 to 23 on Thursday.

Prop Sekope Kepu, who has just returned to Australia after being released from his contract with French club Bordeaux-Begles, will get every opportunity to prove his fitness.

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