New Zealand hooker Dane Coles says the immediate goal for his side is to retain the Bledisloe Cup. The trophy has belonged to the All Blacks for the last 16 years and Steve Hansen has highlighted the two matches against Australia as key preparation ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Saturday’s fixture in Perth also counts towards the Rugby Championship, while the return match takes place at Auckland’s fabled Eden Park on August 17. Hansen has rotated in the win over Argentina and draw against South Africa, suggesting he will select what he considers to be his first-choice team for Saturday’s outing at Optus Stadium.
Hooker Coles says his side are aware of the threat posed by the Wallabies and that everyone will need to perform on Saturday if they are to get a result in Western Australia. “This trophy is very important to both countries and we want to make sure we do everything we can to perform. We’ll keep improving week by week and see how we go,” he told the official website of the All Blacks.
“I was reminded pretty early when I came into this team of how important the Bledisloe Cup is; you really want to be that team that holds it and that’s all we can focus on this week. “Everyone’s attention needs to be in Perth for us to have the best chance of performing this week.”