Rugby Championship

Wallabies looking to bond on SA trip

2016-09-24 13:32
Michael Cheika (Gallo)

Cape Town - Australia head coach Michael Cheika hopes that the team's upcoming fixtures away from home will hope in gelling the current squad together.

The Wallabies have departed for South Africa where they face the Springboks in Pretoria next weekend. From there they head to Twickenham to face Argentina in the final match of the Rugby Championship.

Back-to-back wins over South Africa and Argentina mean Cheika's squad are in a far better shape than they were after two tough losses to New Zealand.

Now the head coach hopes that the Wallabies will front up when the pressure is on away from home, especially in a tough environment at Loftus Versfeld next Saturday.

"I've enjoyed every time we've gone away on tour and this run of games, I think, is a great chance for the 2016 team to really bond together and show what it's about," Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"[There are] a good few new guys in the squad, so it gives us a chance to get them into the way we're playing, and the way we want to play.

"They're going to be very passionate over there. Things are up to us really. You can be away from home, but it's about how hard we want to tackle, how hard we want to carry, all those things will count to us repelling any of the threats they have."

One of the new faces in squad for the next two games is Tolu Latu, called up to replace his injured Waratahs team-mate Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Cheika hopes to see Latu get a chance to make his Test debut and has been pleased with his form in the National Rugby Championship after a low-key Super Rugby campaign.

"He's a really dynamic player," Cheika added.

"Probably didn't have the greatest Super Rugby season by his own reckoning, but I feel like this last part of the year with his NRC [form] he's got himself together and looks like he's starting to come back to some fitness, which is important for him.

"We'll work him hard on the trip and hopefully he gets a run."


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