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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aussies, All Blacks Set for Clash

SYDNEY, Australia -- World champion Australia will face a confident New Zealand on Saturday in a Tri Nations match where victory would give the All Blacks the series title and the Bledisloe Cup, which they last held in 1998.

New Zealand, which leads the Tri Nations series after home wins over both Australia and South Africa, is eagerly awaiting its double chance at the sold-out Sydney Olympic Stadium but knows it is vital to stay cautious.

"You've got to be very careful as a team, and as a coach," All Blacks coach John Mitchell told reporters on Thursday.

"You can be too preoccupied with silverware. All we focus on is our preparation."

The Wallabies have hardly put a foot wrong since winning the World Cup in 1999 and beating the British and Irish Lions in 2001, followed by a 2-0 series victory over France in June.

A third successive Tri Nations title this year would provide the ideal platform as Australia prepares to defend its world title on home soil in 2003.

New Zealand will be chasing its fourth Tri Nations trophy in the seven-year history of the competition but has won just three of its last 10 matches with Australia.

However, Australia lost 12-6 to New Zealand in Christchurch on July 13 before the All Blacks crushed South Africa 41-20 in Wellington a week later.

Australia beat the Springboks 38-27 in Brisbane last week.

The All Blacks have nine points from two matches in the Tri Nations while Australia has six and South Africa one.

Australia coach Eddie Jones said the Wallabies were focusing on their normal routines in the buildup to Saturday's game.

"I don't think we've mentioned the Cup once or mentioned the Tri Nations," Jones told reporters on Thursday.

"It's more about performing well. If we perform well, then hopefully the result will follow.

"Our big test will be to be more consistent during the course of the game."

Mitchell has dropped winger Jonah Lomu from his squad to tighten New Zealand's defense for the match while hooker Mark Hammett, who has a knee injury, will be given until Saturday to prove his fitness.

"He [Hammett] didn't train today, but we are very hopeful," Mitchell said.

Australia has named an unchanged side after utility backs Matt Burke and Mat Rogers both overcame leg injuries.

Burke, who suffered a thigh strain in last week's Brisbane test, made sure Jones was in no doubt of his fitness.

"This is the pinnacle I think of playing footy," the center said.

"Bledisloe Cups, especially in the last few years, have been so competitive."