13 Aug 2017

Wallabies pressure plan for Bledisloe opener

3:27 pm on 13 August 2017

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is vowing to play a pressure game against the All Blacks in their Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney on Saturday.

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

Australian bookmakers have Michael Cheika's new-look Wallabies $6.25 long shots to pull off an upset victory against the All Blacks who are paying just $1.12 to win.

Cheika is making no promises but has hinted at plans to take a leaf from the British and Irish Lions' playbook by applying pressure to the All Blacks at every turn with swarming defence.

He said he's been preparing his team to go the distance at pace by working intensively on their fitness in recent weeks.

"I am not saying it is going to be easy. But the target needs to be to put New Zealand under pressure, not necessarily to go out there and win."

"Then we will see what happens from there, we'll see if we can take the pickings."

Australian Super Rugby teams were 0-26 in games against New Zealand opposition and the code has been hit hard by last week's decision to axe the Western Force.

But Cheika said he believed the right steps have been taken to "renovate" the Wallabies squad since their World Cup final loss to the All Blacks in 2015.

He pointed to nearly 20 new caps blooded since, with only about a dozen of the 2015 World Cup squad remaining.