The Rugby Championship

All Blacks think Australia have 'no chance' in Rugby Championship - Cheika

Michael Cheika has claimed New Zealand believe Australia have "no chance to do anything" in the Rugby Championship in the latest development in the war of words with Steve Hansen.

All Blacks coach Hansen reacted to suggestions from Cheika that the world champions have a number of selection issues going into Saturday's Rugby Championship opener in Sydney, which is doubling as the first Bledisloe Cup contest, by indicating the Wallabies have enough problems of their own.

But in the latest development in the row, which started when Hansen said Cheika was bullied by Eddie Jones during Australia's 3-0 Test series whitewash by England, Cheika has again hit back.

"I don't know what he's [Hansen] upset about," Cheika said. "It's up to him. For us, I think we know how we're thought of.

"We know they think we're no chance to do anything and they're validated, I suppose, we haven't beaten them for ages in the series so it's understandable that they would think that.

"We've been working hard for a few weeks to get ourselves together.

"We'll just get our stuff together and do our absolute best when we get out there on Saturday night.

"We've come off the back of a fair few years of indifferent performances.

"Over the last 18 months we've been trying to build it [belief] in not just the guys who are starting, but in the bigger group of players.

"When you are doing that you will come up against resistance sometimes or things that may not go right, but that doesn't mean you stop, you've got to push through it.

"You need mental fortitude and there's no better place to test mental fortitude than against New Zealand."