Australia Rugby coach Robbie Deans says that the Wallabies will start the new Four Nation Rugby Championship at the deep end as they have back-to-back opening fixtures against Rugby world champions New Zealand.
However Deans added that Australia would make no excuses and a slow start to tournament, which replaces the Tri Nations and also features South Africa and Argentina, would not be acceptable.
The Wallabies host New Zealand at Sydney in the opening match of the tournament on Aug. 18, then play the All Blacks in Auckland a week later.
"There's no wiggle room," Deans said. "You enter every game to win it.
"We're starting in the deep end and two fixtures back to back against the All Blacks. That's going to be a big priority for us, starting well," he added.
"There's no such thing as an average All Blacks side, they always put out a good team."
Australia will be attempting to end a decade-long losing streak in Bledisloe Cup tests against New Zealand and a winning drought in Auckland stretching back to 1996.
Deans said June test matches, in which New Zealand played Ireland, measured the strength of the All Blacks. Ireland came close to winning the second test, but New Zealand bounced back and convincingly won the third 60-0.
"The Irish got close to them and had a great opportunity in the third test outing to show how close they were or possibly get a result," he said.
"And they got the message that the All Blacks not only consider themselves to be No. 1 but are No. 1."
Deans spoke at a news conference after announcing a 27-man preliminary squad to attend a training camp next week in preparation for the Rugby Championship.
The squad excluded players from the Reds who meet South Africa's Sharks on Saturday in the first playoff round of the Super 15.
Wingers Drew Mitchell and Lachie Turner, who missed most of the Super 15 Rugby season with injuries, are included in the squad which contains 13 players from the New South Wales Waratahs.
The squad includes three uncapped players: Western Force winger Nick Cummins, Melbourne Rebels center Mitch Inman and Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan.