Cheika focused only on Wallabies

Michael Cheika (Gallo)
Michael Cheika (Gallo)

Birmingham - After watching his side swat aside Uruguay 65-3 at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday, Australia coach Michael Cheika was equally adept at brushing off questions about England ahead of next weekend's huge match.

Whoever loses it will probably end up going home, and the English will be even more fired up than usual at Twickenham knowing they have no room for error after the amazing 28-25 loss to Wales on Saturday.

It's always intense between Australia and England, even more with what's at stake.

But Cheika seems to be one of few people not interested in talking about it.

"I don't know how they'll be, that's their business," he said when asked how he thought England would respond from the Wales defeat.

"I know we are going to have to improve to get to the standard we need to be at."

Australia captain Dean Mumm, who played for three years in England for the Exeter Chiefs, knows many of England's players well.

Asked if he was well placed to pass on tips, Mumm quipped: "Will I be passing on information to the English people? That's a definite no.

"It's an occasion to get (one) over on people I played with for some time. As Cheikh's been saying, the focus needs to be on us."

England was criticized for twice failing to hold on to 10-point leads against Wales, and for captain Chris Robshaw choosing to go for an attacking lineout rather than kick for a draw. The attempted lineout maul was blown away by Wales.

"I don't think I'm in the right position to be putting in a critique on any other team apart from my own," said Cheika, who has been in charge for less than a year. "I'm a bit of a novice at this. I've really come here just with my focus squarely on the Australian team, and not to have an opinion on other team's performances.

"We're not sitting in front of the TV barracking for one team or another. We're looking at our game to see how we can improve. Let's be honest, we're going to have to if we want to compete against England."

Wales and Australia are level at the top of Pool A with nine points each. England has six, having picked up a bonus point against Wales.

Cheika is thinking about securing only top spot.

"Our plan is not to scrounge through," he said. "As far as I know, if you want to win the World Cup you have to win every game."

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