Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says there’s no room for entitlement from his team against Scotland, regardless of world rankings or reputation.
When asked whether a one-point thriller in last year’s Rugby World Cup had made Australia more wary of ninth-ranked Scotland, Cheika said that was never the issue and was adamant his team would take nothing for granted on Saturday at Murrayfield either.
“Who are we? We’re nobody. Why have we got a higher status? We’ve got nothing,” he said.
“Right now, both teams are equal and the only thing that separates them is what happens on match day.
“No one is looking at [rankings], the only thing we’re looking at is Saturday.
“All that other stuff is around ego, and we’ve got no reason to have an ego, we’ve been getting battered around a little bit this year.”
Cheika went as far as to say the Scotland match could be their toughest match of the tour, in front of a hostile Edinburgh crowd and a team that will have done their homework, with the advantage of seeing the Wallabies in action already on this tour.
“They’ll be prepared very, very well with a good strategy, they’ve got good players, and it’s going to be the toughest game we’re going to encounter because we’re away from home and there’s a certain art to playing away from home over here that you’ve got to master,” Cheika said.
“All that other stuff is around ego, and we’ve got no reason to have an ego, we’ve been getting battered around a little bit this year.” - Michael Cheika
“A lot of our guys are a little bit inexperienced in that area.
“I know that we’re going to come up against a good team, we’re going to have to be at our best.
“I’m saying that genuinely, I’m not just putting that out there, we’re going to have to be at our best if we want to get something out of this game.”
With eight 2016 Test debutants named in the team to face Scotland, Cheika said he wanted to instil humility in all of his players.
“That is important to us because that’s the attitude I want our younger players to be learning,” he said.
“Like every opponent on this tour, they’ll pose the maximum threat because they’re the team in front of us.”
Cheika said there was no dwelling on their win over Wales either, with the Wallabies ‘resetting’ the clock.
“When we came here in 2014, in my first experience of coaching, we had a win in Wales and then got turned up the next week, you went from feeling fantastic to feeling rubbish.
“So we know we’ve got re-set our clock, we knew that from the start.
“When we got here we had a discussion about it, and I feel the way the guys have trained we’ve done that.
“No one has been talking about the [Wales] game, sometimes you feel that you need to talk about the game or you see guys still watching the game on video.
“That got left behind after our reviews, no one is talking about it.”
All of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour Tests will be broadcast LIVE on beIn Sports and streamed LIVE on Foxtel Go (for Foxtel subscribers).