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Coach Michael Cheika is focused only on Australia

Published 17/10/2015

Australia head coach Michael Cheika is worrying more about his own side's preparations than Scotland's ahead of their World Cup quarter-final
Australia head coach Michael Cheika is worrying more about his own side's preparations than Scotland's ahead of their World Cup quarter-final

Australia coach Michael Cheika admits he has barely raised an eye to look at Scotland ahead of facing the Dark Blues in their World Cup quarter-final.

The Wallabies take on Vern Cotter's side at Twickenham on Sunday looking to book a place in the last four.

The Scots started 2015 with six straight defeats but marched into the knock-out stages after winning three of their four pool stages.

Cheika was asked if he feared his side's opponents were now peaking just at the right time to face the Australians - who they have beaten twice in their last three meetings - but the 48-year-old confessed he has spent more time worrying about his side than fretting over Scotland.

He said: "We've taken a very introverted approach in this tournament.

"I don't know if that's naive because we're only pretty young as coaches in the international sphere but we've just focused on what we're doing.

"Obviously, we have to do some analysis of the opposition but we've kept it at the basic minimum and focus on what we're doing and try to improve.

"I want us to do our absolute best and then I'm not worried about the rest. I want us to improve, do our families proud, do ourselves proud, do our country proud and then whatever happens happens."

Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore and centre Matt Giteau will win their 100th caps on Sunday but Cheika has not been able to name the strongest XV he possesses.

Influential back-rower David Pocock has been ruled out with a calf strain, while an ankle injury also counts out full-back Israel Folau.

However, Cheika did not sweat over their omissions for long, saying: "It wasn't too difficult leaving the guys out. They couldn't do their jobs and that's the key. You've got to be able to do your jobs in this team and I don't think either player could do it to their full potential.

"We've got Kurtley Beale and Ben McCalman coming in to replace them and it's really just a straight swap for those guys. We'll just ask them to improve the team with what they bring and both have already made contributions to the side in this tournament and I'm sure they'll continue to contribute in spades.

"We've been working hard over the last 10, 11 months to get real depth in all positions. I know Pocock and Folau are great players but I really believe in the guys who are coming into their positions. That's something we want to build on."

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