The results haven’t gone his way and the series has been lost, but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he’s still enjoyed the battles against England.
Enjoyment at Test level doesn’t just come from winning matches according to Cheika.
The scrapper in him is relishing the prospect of a third tussle with England, who won the first two Tests of the three-match series.
“I’ve enjoyed the series as a whole and I know it hasn’t gone as we would have planned so far, but you can’t always just enjoy it when it’s good,” Cheika said.
“You’ve got to enjoy it when it’s tough too, because that’s where the character is built.
“As tough as it’s been losing, because you feel like you’ve let people down, I’ve really enjoyed being in the fight and I’m going to enjoy the next few days and watching the lads run out there on Saturday night to play.”
Cheika admitted his commitment to the running game was risky at times.
“You have to be accurate to alleviate the possibilities of risk and I think in the first two games we haven’t been as accurate as we need to be to play this type of rugby at Test level,” Cheika said.
“And that’s good for us to know, because it’s been reinforced now.”
Cheika felt Australia could still extract some positives from a lost series, especially the blooding of a number of uncapped players.
He said he was very happy with inside centre Samu Kerevi, despite dropping the hard-running Queenslander from his third Test team.
“We’ve been able to uncover some new talent that we think can run with us going forward of which Kerevi is definitely one of those,” Cheika said.
“The fact that he is not in the side this week is not at all an indictment on his play.
“(He has played) two Tests in a row. It’s an opportunity for a more experienced player (Matt Toomua) to come back in and Kerevi has certainly played his part.”