The Wallabies hope to catch the mighty All Blacks second guessing in what shapes as a must-win Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.
The Wallabies host the world champions in Sydney on August 20 in their only trans-Tasman meeting in Australia during the 2016 Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup series.
Without a victory in New Zealand since 2001, a bleak run stretching 18 Tests, the Wallabies must somehow conjure a way to break the drought to have any hope of ending the All Blacks’ 15-year stranglehold on the Bledisloe Cup.
Winning at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, as they did last year, is also non negotiable and the Wallabies plan on surprising their top-ranked rivals with a new game plan.
Coach Michael Cheika conceded after the disappointing 3-0 series loss to England that his Wallabies needed to improve their fitness levels to play his ball-in-hand style of rugby effectively.
“There’s definitely been a pretty solid review since that series. We now know we have to adapt our game. We’ve got to develop it and evolve it,” playmaker Bernard Foley told AAP.
“Not just in the style that we play, but the options we take and also the mentality we have going into games.
“There will be quite a bit of change in how we do things going forward and it’s exciting for us.”
Cheika is giving little away by way of tactics, but admits he has put his charges through a series of brutal sessions since the squad assembled in Sydney almost a fortnight ago.
“We’ve been training very hard and we’ve probably introduced two or three things that we wanted to bring in this time of year and the boys have had a good opportunity to reconnect now that the Super Rugby season is over,” the coach said.
“It has been a healthy balance between quite hard work, game-knowledge stuff and a bit of fun as well.”
Monday marks one year exactly since the All Blacks lost and Wallabies captain Stephen Moore also knows his side must try something new to bridge the gap.
“We have to change the way we play,” Moore said.
“On our last few outings, we came up short. So we need to find ways to be better and the coaches have identified some things that we can do and we’re working on that starting in the next few weeks.
“But for the main part, it’s being consistent around what we do, just sticking to our game plan, but not making too many mistakes under pressure.
“We just need to do everything consistently better. In the big Test matches, you need to be good right across the board.”