Bledisloe Cup

Cheika expects Wallabies to be fitter

Michael Cheika said Australia must raise their fitness levels if they are to have any chance of taking the Bledisloe Cup off New Zealand after they were whitewashed by England.

The Wallabies went down 44-40 to Eddie Jones' side in a gripping third and final Test in Sydney on Saturday to slump to a 3-0 series defeat on home soil.

Cheika has vowed to persist with an attacking ball-in-hand style of play which did not bear fruit against England, but stated that his players must be sharper when they take in the All Blacks in back-to-back Tests in August.

"We've got to get a little fitter," said the Australia head coach. "If we want to play this much footy, we've got to be a little fitter."

Cheika, who is set to welcome overseas-based back Matt Giteau, Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell against the All Blacks, knows the Wallabies must raise their game after they were given a rude awakening by the Six Nations champions.

He added: "I would rather not be here, I would rather have done better from a results point of view and not be in that situation, but we're in it now so we have to do the work to make sure we can prove that that's not a correct evaluation of us,

"There's a few key issues we really need to get our head around and improve before we get to New Zealand.

"Placing the ball back so the half-back can scoop it up and get it on the move has nothing to do with combinations, concentration in the moment under pressure from the opponent, and looking to do every little thing correctly, every little touch, every little move.

"You've got to own the fact that in this series, those little moments have let us down.

"I think they just kicked more and we should maybe kick a bit more, we'll have a look at that. Or pick the times that we need to kick, but I don’t think too much more. That’s our game, we just have to be able to do things a little bit better.

"It’s very painful right now, I won’t lie to you, but we will dust ourselves off and do our absolute best when the Bledisloe starts."

Australia face New Zealand at ANZ Stadium on August 20 and travel to Wellington to take on the top-ranked side a week later. A third clash takes place in Auckland on October 22.