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World Cup final place not enough for Michael Cheika

Published 30/10/2015

Michael Cheika has urged Australia to achieve greatness in Saturday's World Cup final
Michael Cheika has urged Australia to achieve greatness in Saturday's World Cup final

Michael Cheika has urged Australia to exit their comfort zone and achieve greatness when they face New Zealand in Saturday's World Cup final.

The Trans-Tasman rivals clash at Twickenham with the winners being recognised as the competition's most successful team by lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for an unprecedented third time.

The Australian nation have thrown their weight behind the quest for the sport's richest prize, with the green and gold colours being projected on to the Sydney Opera House accompanied by a call-to-arms of 'Go Wallabies'.

Cheika insists his underdogs are determined to make the country proud knowing that by adding a third World Cup to those won in 1991 and 1999, rugby union would receive a lift in a land where it is fourth in the sporting pecking order.

"We haven't tried to manufacture anything, we've just try to let things happen," Cheika said.

"You feel the support and have to make sure that you use it to push you on from being just comfortable.

"You can think 'I'm in the final so it's all good', or you can go out and do something great. We don't want to be comfortable.

"As an individual you have to say 'I'm not happy to be comfortable'. It's great that you're enjoying it, but as a player or coach you have to do something.

"One of our goals as a team has been to get our supporters in Australia enjoying the game again.

"That's really important to us and that's genuine, I'm not in the marketing department.

"We want people to feel attached to the team because we've shown them the values they want to be attached to.

"We want to give them something else to be proud of on Saturday night."

New Zealand have tasted defeat only three times since being crowned world champions in 2011, most recently when Australia emerged 27-19 victors in Sydney in August.

The Wallabies were humbled 41-13 in Auckland a fortnight later and Cheika refuses to read anything into previous meetings.

"They say if you look backwards you'll only get a sore neck. For us it's there, but it means nothing really. There's a few tactical things maybe, but it really means nothing," Cheika said.

"It's about what happens in the next day or so and the 80 minutes in front of us. We want to play to the maximum of our potential and then see where the cards fall."

Australia have endured a gruelling route to the final, beating England, Wales, Scotland and Argentina to set up the winner-takes-all showdown with the All Blacks.

"We know it will be extremely physical and we want to last the whole game. We've prepared accordingly," Cheika said.

"When the 80 minutes start, not only will your preparation take a hold but also the reasons that are driving you mentally. That takes over the physical part."

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