Cheika focusing on Wallaby conditioning

Michael Cheika (Getty)
Michael Cheika (Getty)

Cape Town - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is putting his players through a rigorous training schedule ahead of the Rugby Championship next month.

Cheika has assembled a 38-man squad for a training camp in the New South Wales port city of Newcastle.

Eight Brumbies players will join the squad later in the week after their Super Rugby quarter-final exit at the hands of the Hurricanes.

The Wallabies begin their Rugby Championship campaign with the unenviable task of back-to-back matches against the All Blacks with the first match taking place on August 19.

And with all the Australian sides' Super Rugby campaigns over, Cheika and his men are able to fully focus their energies on preparing to upset the world champions.

It has been a horrific year for Australian Rugby. In 26 attempts, not one Australian Super Rugby side was able to beat a New Zealand side in this year's competition. The Wallabies lost a June international to Scotland and were given an almighty scare by Italy after which captain Stephen Moore said the provincial sides had not done enough to prepare the players for the intensity of Test rugby.

And Cheika is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to conditioning.

"The first couple of weeks of our preparation has to be able to get us to the physical and mental level where we believe we can go out there and win the game," Cheika told Radio New Zealand.

"I know the way I like to coach and the game we need to play, we need to be at the best fitness level we can be.

"We're not going to acquire that all in a couple of weeks but at the end of the day ... we need to get them to turn the key inside of their minds to get them to the next level.

"Because the games we play against New Zealand will probably the most intense the guys have played in their careers."

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