Bledisloe Cup

Coleman "not proud" of Sydney Bledisloe bungle

The 38-13 loss was tough viewing in the second half - a 6-5 half time lead quickly turning into another All Blacks rout as the Wallabies' set piece crumbled in front of their eyes.

Having set up camp on Waiheke Island - a 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland's CBD - the Wallabies now have an Everest-sized mountain to climb if they are to snatch the Bledisloe back from the Kiwis.

Australia haven't beaten New Zealand at the Eden Park since 1986 and the All Blacks are undefeated through their last 41 starts at the ground.

Hansen targets areas to pressure Wallabies

New Zealand blew Australia away in the first half of each of the last two Bledisloe season openers and have held the coveted trophy since 2003.

But the hard work of his Australian counterpart Michael Cheika in endeavouring to close the gap between the trans-Tasman rivals hasn't gone unnoticed by Hansen.

"I think they are a good side, they've improved a heck of a lot," Hansen said.

"They've done a lot of hard work on their running lines and their core set piece roles.

"Their scrum has got better, looking at it against Ireland.

'Mind games' not fooling Wallabies

Barrett's starting spot has come into question, with calls for Crusaders star Richie Mo'unga to be handed the All Blacks No.10 jumper after guiding his side to back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

But Foley is having none of it, believing it's crazy to suggest New Zealand's 2016 and 2017 world player of the year won't be calling the shots once again.

"I can't see why there'd be any different. He's been a stalwart there for a few years," he said.

"He's world player of the year at the moment, isn't he? I think it's more internal mind games.

Genia: Bledisloe is top priority

The Wallabies head into Saturday's 2018 Bledisloe opener in Sydney trying to end New Zealand's 15-year hold on the trophy.

Asked what winning the Bledisloe would mean to the Wallabies Genia said: "everything".

"I can only speak from my personal point of view and for me, I'd have to say it's the pinnacle."

"The World Cup is obviously up there but how often do you get to play the best team in the world three times and have to win two out of three to win a trophy?"

"I've been trying for a while now so really looking forward to another crack."

Hansen talks up Wallabies ahead of Bledisloe Cup

The defending Rugby Championship winners and long-time Bledisloe Cup holders arrived in Sydney on Sunday evening, six days before their match at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Hansen continued his complimentary assessment of the Wallabies, rating them "a really good side" after their three-test home series loss to Six Nations champions Ireland.

"They won that first one and the second two games they didn't get much luck did they, so it could have gone either way that series," Hansen said.

"I thought they got a lot of intensity, they played with a lot of skill."

Cheika laughs off NZ grab for underdog tag

The Wallabies mentor has questioned the merits of his counterpart's bold claim before the first Test, which starts at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on August 18.

Hansen suggested this week that Australia "have a lot of self-confidence and are worthy of starting as favourites".

The statement ignored 16 years of trans-Tasman dominance, the fact Hansen's charges are World Cup holders and have occupied top spot on world rugby's rankings since 2009, and the wisdom of every bookmaker on the planet.

Cheika beamed on Friday when asked about Hansen's take.

Stirling Mortlock rubbishes All Blacks underdog status

"It's a load of tripe," Mortlock said.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, a master at stirring the pot, made the audacious claim on Monday after selecting another formidable 33-man squad for this year's series, which kicks off in Sydney on August 18th.

Winners of the past two World Cups, the All Blacks have lost just eight of their past 100 Test matches to be the most dominant team in international rugby history.

Could the Bledisloe be decided in Japan?

Fox Sports Australia is reporting that the October Test against the Wallabies will be played in Japan in the lead-up to the All Blacks' match against the Brave Blossoms on 3 November.

It would also be a chance for both sides to get accustomed with Japan's facilities ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The last time the two sides played each other outside their home nations was in 2010 in Hong Kong - where Australia won the match 26-24.

Both sides have also played each other in Japan back in 2009. Australia also won that match.

Simmons a surprise second Bledisloe starter

Simmons, played 13 matches for the Reds this year, one of those at blindside flanker after being released by Queensland as coach Nick Stiles looked to the future.

He and fellow World Cup lock Kane Douglas were both out of favour at the Reds, with Simmons left out of the 23 as early as March when the side played the Jaguares.

Simmons played in 11 of the Wallabies' 15 Tests last year, starting in three of the Spring Tour Tests after an injury to Adam Coleman.

Coles boost for All Blacks

Coles missed four months of action with a head injury, sitting out the British and Irish Lions series before returning for Hurricanes' Super Rugby quarter-final win over Brumbies last month.

The 30-year-old was due to return to the international fold for New Zealand's opening Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies last week, which they won 54-34, but suffered a fresh head knock in the 'game of three halves' against Taranaki and Counties Manukau and was ruled out of the Bledisloe Cup contest.