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Australia better than 1999 - Larkham

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allblacks.com     29 Oct 2015     Getty Images

Larkham, assistant to Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, was part of the side that won the Webb Ellis Cup 16 years ago courtesy of a comprehensive 35-12 win over France.

The challenge of tackling New Zealand is considerably more daunting than that assignment, with many believing this All Blacks outfit is one of the greatest teams to grace a rugby field.

Yet Larkham believes Australia are a threat in their own right and should enter Saturday's much-anticipated contest at Twickenham without fear.

Asked whether this group of players are superior than 1999, Larkham responded: "This team's much better."

He added: "I think this journey is fairly similar (to 1999). We probably got together under Cheik (Cheika) a little under a year ago and we've had an accelerated little growth together, whereas in 1999 and 2003 we had two years of preparation.

"But I'd say these boys are at the stage we were at in particularly 1999 and 2003."

An unexpected Australia victory at the weekend would prove the culmination of a resurgence under Cheika's regime.

Larkham continued: "I was very proud of the way the boys played on the tour (of Europe) last year.

"I thought it was a very entertaining style of play and they started to combine and I hadn’t seen that in previous years. So I started to find a little bit of pride back in that Australian jersey.

"I think the biggest thing we've brought over this last 12 months is a little bit of structure to the game.

"From all reports, the game plans, the attacking style and defensive style would change from week to week. I think that since Cheik came on board, there's been a really clear direction."