Michael Cheika forces Wallabies to train with mouths taped shut

Wallabies players Marika Koroibete, Israel Folau and Bernard Foley.
Wallabies players Marika Koroibete, Israel Folau and Bernard Foley. Photo credit: Getty Images

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is preparing his players for next month's Bledisloe Cup showdown against the All Blacks in a most unorthodox fashion.

The 50-year-old, who joined in himself, made the team tape over their mouths while running up steep hills at Sydney Park - forcing his players to breathe through their noses.

Players also had to tape over their eyes and work together as they tried to navigate up the slopes in a trust-building activity.

Cheika insists his players need to much fitter if they are to compete with the All Blacks, and win back the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2003. 

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. Photo credit: Getty Images

"We spoke about it at the coaches' meeting and we spoke about it in general that we need to lift the standard of our fitness level across the board - from the start of Super Rugby right through to us as well," he said.

"We then need to elevate that and take it to another level because that is what's required.

"The game goes faster. When it goes faster it becomes more powerful, collisions are bigger, there's not more game time necessarily - the game just goes faster and you have to be ready for it."

Cheika has a month to organise his troops ahead of the first Test against the All Blacks on August 19.

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