Cheika pumped for pain against All Blacks

READY FOR ALL BLACKS: Australia's Michael Hooper could return for Bledisloe Test this weekend.
READY FOR ALL BLACKS: Australia's Michael Hooper could return for Bledisloe Test this weekend. DAVID ROWLAND

RUGBY UNION: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says there's no place he'd rather be than facing the record-seeking All Blacks than at Eden Park, in Auckland.

It's the toughest challenge in world rugby - New Zealand hasn't lost at the so-called house of pain since 1994 and the last time Australia beat the All Blacks there was back in 1986.

"I'm old fashioned, I look forward to it,” Cheika said before leaving Sydney for Saturday's third Bledisloe Test against the All Blacks.

"It's a great opportunity and it's going to be a tough environment, but that's where you want to be.

"If you don't want to be there playing those games, where do you want to be in footy?

"It's no good to have it all comfortable and rosy.

"When it's tough is when you've got to stand up and it will certainly be tough there, but I'm so looking forward to getting over there and getting into it, it will be great.”

With the exception of Nick Phipps coming in for France-bound Will Genia, it's expected that Cheika will name a relatively unchanged starting XV to the one that beat Argentina 33-21 in London a week ago.

Cheika confirmed abrasive forward Sean McMahon would miss the Test, but said that David Pocock was a strong chance to return via the bench after missing the last two Test matches with injury.

After winning last year's Rugby Championship and reaching the World Cup final, the Wallabies have won just three from nine matches in 2016.

But Cheika said that despite his side's difficult year thus far, he had seen progress and said that the Wallabies would ultimately benefit from their testing season.

"I think the England series we actually played some good footy, we just couldn't get ourselves over the line,” he said.

"We had more and more new players coming in and we're starting to learn the connections, the strategy, the shape of the game and also the mental strength and the belief that we need to have in each other.

"I know that no one wants to hear those things and everyone thinks it's an excuse when a coach puts it out there - I don't care what people think - but they take time to build.”

The All Blacks are looking at a record 18th Test win in a row on Saturday.

"And yes, we want to win every game along the way as well, so you say it's tough, yeah it tough but going through those tough times is good for you as well,” Cheika said.

"To build a consistency of high level play, you need to work at it. It's not just going to come because you snap your fingers. And yeah you'll take a few hits along the way, but so be it.

"But it's still a pretty good place to be and we're enjoying our work everyday when we go to training and the lads have stayed very solid under a fair bit of heat.”

Topics:  all blacks bledisloe cup cheika wallabies

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Woolies announces closure of Ipswich store

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June