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Cheika thrilled with Australian Super Rugby turnaround

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Australia head coach Michael Cheika says he has been pleasantly surprised by the spirit shown by the Australian Super Rugby teams in 2018.

The Australian sides – the Brumbies, Reds, Rebels, Force and Waratahs – won six matches in 2017 in the first five rounds.

In comparison after five rounds the Australian teams (without the now defunct Western Force) have secured 11 wins which is nearly double last year.

“I think they’ve all been showing different qualities of their own and a fair bit of resilience in some of their battles,” Cheika told AAP.

“Teams have already shown comebacks from difficult situations or overcoming some logistical battles, like we’ve seen the Reds do over this last little bit.”

The Reds beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aires two weeks ago and then on their second tour match they picked up a losing bonus point in their 25-19 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town.

Australia host Six Nations champions Ireland for three tests in June and Cheika has hinted some new faces could make up the Wallabies side.

“We’re getting some wins on the board and I think some of the players are standing up and putting their name up there,” he added.

“From a selection point of view, (they) are probably not the traditional ones we’ve seen before.”

“I’m keeping a list turning around, of what we see as maybe that top 45 and there’s a few players started to move in there that have not been in our reckoning before,” he said.

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