Acknowledging the enormity of the challenge, veteran playmaker Matt Giteau says the Wallabies have the belief and talent to finally end Australia’s 14-year Bledisloe Cup blackout.
Not a solitary player in Michael Cheika’s 36-man squad, not even 33-year-old, 102-Test stalwart Giteau, has ever experienced trans-Tasman series glory.
And even without their talismanic leaders Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, the All Blacks look as invincible as ever with brilliant five-eighth Beauden Barrett and destructive flanker Ardie Savea proving potent replacements for New Zealand’s pair of retired greats.
The world champions are riding an 11-match winning streak since falling to the Wallabies in Sydney last August, their only slip-up in 20 matches since 2014.
New Zealand sides have dominated Super Rugby in 2016, while Australian teams struggled, with only the Brumbies making the final.
“They’re the pinnacle of rugby at the moment. You only have to look at Super Rugby to know that,” Giteau said ahead of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener on August 22 in Sydney.
“Four of their five teams, if you’re looking at points, were right up there.
“They’re the most consistent team, they’ve got the most depth out of all the players going on Super Rugby form.
“So it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be tough.
“But I think the players we’ve got here, the coaching staff and with as hard as the players are working, we’ve definitely got the team to put up a great fight.”
Coach Cheika has had the Wallabies in camp in Sydney this week and will trim the squad to 33 players before they assemble again on Monday on the Central Coast.