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Michael Cheika urges Australia to raise game for semi-final against Argentina

Michael Cheika has declared Australia ready for Sunday's World Cup semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham.

The Wallabies face familiar foes from the Rugby Championship after despatching England, Wales and Scotland on successive weekends.

"I didn't imagine we'd be in this situation but now that we're here I want to make sure I do the best possible job for this team," head coach Cheika said.

"Nothing is given to you in this game - you've got to earn everything. We have to improve on our performance on the field and that means myself and the coaches have to improve off the pitch.

"I believe a lot in this side and the players we have. The players have worked very hard and, while that doesn't mean anything in itself, it gives us the best opportunity to win that we could hope for.

"When the whistle blows, I feel we're as ready as we could be. Now it's time to get it on. We know we'll have to improve on everything we've done so far in this World Cup."

Australia's chances of toppling the Pumas have improved after number eight David Pocock and full-back Israel Folau recovered from the respective calf and ankle injuries that forced them to miss the 35-34 victory over Scotland.

"There's no risk with David. We've calculated where he's at. We always knew his injury would be around the seven or eight day mark," Cheika said.

"He actually did more training on Friday than we thought he would. Every day he'll get better.

"Mentally he's very strong and it would have been difficult to stop him even if he wasn't fit.

"We're more than comfortable that he's fit enough to do his job and do it very well.

"Folau has been involved in our last two training sessions. He's feeling better and is feeling better every day.

"He knows his body very well and is running pain free now, which is good. A player of his calibre will only enjoy these type of matches."


From Belfast Telegraph