ODAWARA, Japan -- The Wallabies' 0-6 record against England since the last World Cup is of no relevance ahead of this weekend's quarterfinal in Japan, according to Australia coach Michael Cheika.
While the Wallabies had been reluctant to engage on discussion around their potential showdown with England until Wales negotiated their final encounter with Uruguay, the Australians on Monday, at last commented on their confirmed assignment with the Auld Enemy.
But Cheika had no interest in discussing his side's terrible run against Eddie Jones' men, a string of defeats that stretches back to England's historic 3-0 whitewash of Australia, Down Under in 2016.
"Um, possibly to them, yeah. Not to me. Not to us," the Wallabies coach said when asked whether that record had any relevance this weekend. "Like I said, when you believe you're closer to getting to what you want; we believe in ourselves so let's get there."
Pushed further on that topic and asked whether there were any specific reasons Australia had struggled in those six defeats, Cheika said the Wallabies only had eyes for the immediate future.
"I think it's irrelevant, really. There [are] reasons, I'm not trying to avoid it, but why go back and talk about all those games? I talked about those games in those press conferences after those games and then they're done with and we're onto the next thing. Looking backwards is only going to give you a sore neck. We've got opportunities this week and we've got to take them."
England have played just the three matches so far in Japan after their final Pool C encounter against France was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
It means Jones' side won't have seen any action for two weeks by the time they run out in Oita on Saturday, and may be lacking genuine match sharpness after two comfortable wins over Tonga and the United States, followed by a clash with Argentina that was made significantly easier following the red card to Pumas lock Tomas Lavinini.
Not that is any concern of Cheika, the Wallabies coach saying he did little film analysis of Australia's opponents and wouldn't be changing his approach this week.
"Don't really have one mate," Cheika replied, when pressed on his opinion of England. "Lots of respect but I'm not a big analyser of the opposition. I'm always telling my coaches not to watch the opposition so much.
"They watch too much footage of the opposition. I'm interested in our blokes, our team and our analysis so that it can help us be better."
Monday's media session then took a turn for the awkward as Tolu Latu, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Adam Coleman sat down to discuss the quarterfinal.
In a sign the Wallabies would be adopting a siege mentality ahead of Saturday's game, the trio took umbrage with a question about the personality of their coach, who's Wallabies career will likely end unless he can string three straight wins together and lift the Webb Ellis Cup in three weeks' time in Japan.
"Stupid question. To ask it, I don't know, it's different for [you] guys and different for us," Latu said. "For us, it comes across as a stupid question so that's why we're all laughing. Obviously, you're asking us a question that we think is a complete joke so if you're going to ask us questions like that, we'll take it as a joke and throw it back at you."
The Wallabies are currently rated as $3.60 outsiders with some bookmakers in a sign of the challenge that awaits them in Oita. The Australians aren't at all worried by that, though, with Nic White continuing the team line of looking inside at what the Wallabies can control.
"I don't really think any of that sort of matters at all," White said when asked about his side's underdog status. "Kind of what Cheik said before, we're just focusing on ourselves, what we can control, and I think they would have confidence in themselves and we've certainly got a lot of confidence in our own ability.
"And for us it's about each day, making the most of it, and making sure we're well prepared. And as I said whatever tag you put on us, we feel confident about going out there and getting the job done."