Horwill, McKenzie Preview Bledisloe Cup

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie and captain James Horwill offer their thoughts ahead of this weekend's Bledisloe Cup clash in Dunedin.

New Zealand have already maintained the trophy after winning both matches in the 2013 Rugby Championship but Australia will be keen to end their season on a high ahead of their tour of Europe, where they take on England, Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

McKenzie, who took over prior to the Championship, says that coming up against the All Blacks is always a good way of assessing their progress.

"Well, we want to be more consistent and I guess the best team to look at is the All Blacks in terms of how they go about it, game in game out," he said.

"We need to develop the same consistency, so the fact that they are there this week means that we've got to go out there and not just have a win against Argentina, we've got to turn that into a second win. So that's our focus.

"We're just hitting that winning two games in a row focus, so that's a big challenge when you're playing the All Blacks, but that's the way it is."

Horwill, who was unavailable for part of the Rugby Championship due to rugby, says that the mrore time the squad spends together, the better they are playing.

"The more time we've spent together and understanding what the roles are and what's expected of guys, is working well for us.

"The more time we spend together (the better), We're about to spend six more weeks together to get to know each other and understand what we're looking for on and off the field and I think that can serve us well with the new coach and the new regime."

And McKenzie added that he and his players were looking forward to the challenge presented by taking on New Zealand away from home, despite the huge amount of travelling they have had to do this season.

"New Zealand in their own back yard is a tough proposition. It doesn't matter when it is, so it's a tough ask, but it's also a great challenge, so I look forward to that.

"As I've said, we've been travelling. I think we've been averaging a thousand kilometres a day at the moment, even when we're here, we're still travelling a thousand kilometres in theory."

Australia last beat New Zealand in a Bledisloe Cup encounter in 2011 and have not held the Cup since 2002, when the series was drawn.

2001 was the last series that they won outright.

Kick off at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium is at 7:35pm local time (7.35am in the UK).

Video courtesy of SNTV. This video will be available until 28th October, after which time the player at the top of the page will display the latest live rugby video content.

 

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