The Rugby Championship

Australia need greater mental toughness - Cheika

Australia head coach Michael Cheika believes the Wallabies must work on their mental toughness ahead of a three-Test series against England and the 2016 Rugby Championship.

Cheika guided Australia to the final of the Rugby World Cup last year, where they suffered a 34-17 defeat to rivals New Zealand.

However, the coach feels further development to the Wallabies' mentality is required if they are to continue improving against England in June and at the Rugby Championship two months later.

"I think the team has still got a lot of improvement in regards to not just how we play the game, but also how tough we are mentally," said Cheika.

"Exploring some of that area is really important for me so that the team understands how to deal with difficult situations and get better at that."

Cheika is unconcerned about comparisons between the performances of Australian and New Zealand sides in the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Brumbies 52-10 victory over the Hurricanes marks the only win for an Australian team in eight encounters between franchises from the two nations this season.

"That seems to be the consensus that our teams are well behind theirs [New Zealand's]," he added.

"I think, for me, I'm not looking at how a team performs. It's their coaches' responsibility to do that.

"I'm not here to be a pundit. What I need to do is see who is going well within our teams, what combinations are going well, who needs to improve and trying to get the best at putting that together.

"One thing I know for sure is that, having been a coach of Super Rugby [at Waratahs] recently, I know how a team's performance in that competition can ebb and flow and players can get in form and try to stay in form and go out of form."