Michael Cheika admits he has been having fun since the World Cup but the Wallabies coach insists it will be back to the serious business with the Barbarians against Argentina on Saturday.
Cheika dearly wants his star-studded team from around the globe “to take another famous international scalp”.
The Wallabies head coach is still on a high from his side’s World Cup campaign where they reached the final before finding New Zealand just too good in that memorable Twickenham shoot-out.
Cheika returns to the home of English rugby keen to walk away a winner and predicting that a large crowd can expect plenty of thrills, spills and entertainment – but just as importantly a full-on, physical and passionate contest where his Baa Baas will have a “real edge”.
“The Barbarians have a long list of famous international scalps they have claimed and the players have it in their minds that they want to collect another scalp on Saturday,” he said.
He has the likes of South African forward legends Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha in his pack, and a backline glittering with World Cup stars such as New Zealand’s Nehe Milner-Skudder, Australia’s Tevita Kuridran and Fijian powerhouse Nemani Nadolo.
All three sparkled in England 2015, and will be anxious to continue their outstanding form.
“It is wonderful having such talent from different countries at our disposal,” he said.
Cheika’s Barbarians certainly warmed up nicely for the clash, putting 10 tries on a young Gloucester team at Kingsholm.
The outstanding Milner-Skudder and Joe Tomane were among the try scorers but the Barbarians face a far tougher task against the Pumas, who performed heroics to get to the World Cup semi-finals.
Jonah Lomu’s sudden death has cast a shadow over the world of rugby this week and a minute’s silence will be held before the game in memory of the former All Blacks great who also represented the Barbarians.
“We have a few New Zealanders in our side and I am sure they have be thinking of Jonah since we heard the news and we will all think about him when we walk out at Twickenham,” he said.
“Jonah was a game changer and such an icon. He had great skills and also passion for the game. He was also a great reader of the game as well.”