Wallabies ready to scale All Blacks challenge

The Rugby Championship
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Returned Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau isn't shying away from the challenge Australia will face against the All Blacks on August 20.

The Wallabies enjoyed their most successful season in 2015 having won 10 of their 12 Tests through to the World Cup final, but both losses came to New Zealand.

Giteau debuted for the Wallabies just months after they last won the Bledisloe Cup, in 2002, their fifth straight at the time.

Giteau debuted for the Wallabies in 2002. Photo: Getty Images

After last year's World Cup, the All Blacks farewelled stalwarts Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu but a dominant Super Rugby record suggests the New Zealand sides haven't lost too much.

Giteau admitted New Zealand's depth seemed the best of any of the Rugby Championship nations but was optimistic off the Wallabies' chances.

“They're the pinnacle of rugby at the moment, you only have to look at Super Rugby to know that,” he said.

 “Four of their five teams, if you're looking at points alone, were right up there so they're the most consistent team," he said.

"I think they've got the most depth out of all the players going on Super Rugby form so it's going to be hard, it's going to be tough but I think with the players we have got here, the coaching staff and as hard as the players are working, we've definitely got the team I believe to put up a very good fight.”

Giteau's time with the Wallabies since the World Cup has been restricted to social media, with he and Drew Mitchell returning to Toulon after the tournament.

"I got a few snapchats off the boys,” Giteau laughed.

“After a World Cup and the ways things went for us, we were a really tight knit group, everyone got along well, you stay in contact, but it's the first time obviously that I've caught up with them and been able to talk.

Giteau spoke to the media for the first time today since touching down in Australia. Photo: ARU Media

While the pain of last year's final lingers for Australia, Giteau said that wasn't the overarching memory of their three-month World Cup journey.

“You talk about funny things that happen during the World Cup, but it's not something really that we talk about,” he said.

The 33-year-old was the last player to arrive in camp, one of four overseas-based Wallabies playing in the Rugby Championship, but he hasn't been slacking off at home.

“I was sent a program while I was over in France so during my holiday I've been training, I've been doing my running,” he said.

“So the running base, I think we're reasonably even I think it's just getting back to speed with the new style of play, how we want to play and just the changes in system and trying to adapt to those as quickly as possible.”

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