Wallabies want to 'write history' against Ireland

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika won’t be worried about history that's already in the books when Ireland come out to Australia in a fortnight’s time, in the first three-Test series between the two nations.

Ireland hasn’t won in Australia since 1979, but the Wallabies have gone down in their two clashes in Ireland in recent years, a point Cheika was quick to make when asked about Ireland’s duck.

“We can manipulate history however we want,” he said.

“I've had two matches against Ireland, which are important ones for me because of my connection with them and I've lost them both narrowly, at Lansdowne Rd.

“The only thing about history is the opportunity to write it.

“This is a really good opportunity for us.

“The only way that'll be done is through really strong work ethic for the team and also believing in ourselves, (having) a little bit of swagger as well and also have fun.”

Ireland celebrate a thrilling win. Photo: Getty ImagesCheika is wary of the challenge of an Irish side fresh off a Six Nations grand slam, with one of the lowest penalty counts of any team in those Tests.

The Wallabies mentor said the two sides’ would be opposites in many of their approaches on the field, but reducing those penalties would be a key focus.

“(They’ve got a) real sort of contrary style of play than ours,” he said.

“It's a very structured around the way they deliver the game, a lot of kicking, a lot of pressure in kick chase and defence and we play probably a slightly different style, a lot less kicking etc.

“I think one of the big things we can do to improve straight away is just reduce our penalties.”

Cheika’s Wallabies are committed to a running philosophy, and he said that demanded a higher work rate from his side.

“We need to play our football, which is an attacking style we like to play lots of phases, we like to play with a little bit of width as well,” he said.

“Probably less  kicking team so that takes also a certain type of mental consistency, because you're not going to get rewarded from every foray in attack, you're not going to get rewarded.

“We want to get something from every attack but when you do a lot of attack like we do, you won't always get reward so you've just got to stay at it and then of course you've got to be very strong defensively.

“But the number one thing would be our work ethic.

“All the other stuff's inconsequential. Work ethic principles are the things we need to build the strongest between now and the World cup to go to where we want to go and the consistency in delivering that.

“That's something we've spoken to players about and that's something we want our supporters to see when we're playing.

“This is the number one thing for us is how hard we want to work in the game, so we can show off the play that we can deliver.”

The Wallabies take on Ireland in June, with the first Test in Brisbane on June 9, kicking off at 8pm AEST. Buy tickets here.