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Cheika takes no interest in history

Australia coach Michael Cheika has played down the Wallabies' imperious winning run against Wales ahead of Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash.

Wales have not beaten Australia since November 2008 - a nine-Test losing sequence - but the Wallabies' new head coach Cheika is not allowing himself to be swept along by such dominance.

"I am not too worried about that record. I am just looking at one (win) in a row," Cheika said. "That is how we have to look at it at Test level.

"I have been interested in people taking about streaks these days and history. They are relatively irrelevant.

"The only streak you want to be getting is one in a row, which is the next one.

"There is probably a bit of a consensus that it is not a matter of if it will happen, it is when they (Wales) will beat us. It is up to us to dig our heels in and push hard to be successful."

Cheika has made two changes from the side beaten 29-28 by New Zealand last month for Saturday's encounter, with Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon making his international debut.

McMahon replaces an injured Scott Fardy, while number eight Ben McCalman takes over from Scott Higginbotham, who is also sidelined through injury.

But the team is otherwise unaltered from that which suffered an agonising Bledisloe Cup loss three weeks ago, which means star half-backs Quade Cooper and Will Genia are on bench duty after starting against the Barbarians last Saturday.

McMahon, 20, featured in the Baa-baas game, and a strong performance at Twickenham confirmed his place this weekend.

"Sean got an opportunity against the Barbarians, and he took it," Cheika added.

"He was not scared to carry the ball, get involved and be aggressive.

"I am eager to reward that mentality, not as a gift or charity, but as a chance. This is just a start for him and to build something going forward.

"He is eager to get into it, and he has been enjoyable to coach. He is a tough guy who likes to get into the mix, take responsibility and try to make something happen."

Uncapped Western Force prop Tetera Faulkner, meanwhile, is among nine replacements named, with one of that group to be omitted during the next 24 hours.

"I've been really pleased with the attitude and commitment of the team and by how they have embraced a new environment and way of doing things," Cheika said.

"It is going to be up to us to deliver a clear picture of what we are about on Saturday.

"I am a novice at this level. It is the same as when I went back to Super Rugby from the northern hemisphere, and you wonder whether it is going to work.

"I have seen a good uptake in the lads in training. They are interested in the different detail in the game, and they have enjoyed it. Every day you can add a little bit extra of your style. There is no time-frame on it."


From Belfast Telegraph