Forget the Rugby Championship, Michael Cheika's Wallabies have their sights set fairly and squarely on the All Blacks.
Cheika named an extended 36‑men squad train before the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on August 18 and immediately instructed his hopefuls to prepare themselves mentally for Steve Hansen's All Blacks.
In the squad is two players with links to Fiji, Sefanaia Naivalu and Marika Koroibete.
It's been 16 years since Australia last held trans‑Tasman bragging rights and victory at ANZ Stadium in 13 days looms as critical if the Wallabies are to regain the prized piece of silverware.
Cheika named veteran hooker Tatafu Polota‑Nau and six uncapped rookies – including Melbourne Rebels teenager Jordan Petaia – in his squad that will be trimmed to 23 next Sunday.
The Wallabies will take on the All Blacks at 10.05pm on the 18th of this month.
Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett‑Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Matt Toomua.
Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa*, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (capt), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga‑Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota‑Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.
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