Australia's Wallabies. Picture: REUTERS/JASON REED
Australia's Wallabies. Picture: REUTERS/JASON REED

The misfiring Wallabies are not fit enough, World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer says, blaming the players and not the coaching set-up for their run of defeats.

Australia have lost six of their past seven games, and ceded the Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand for the 16th consecutive year after a 40-12 hammering in Auckland at the weekend and a 38-13 thrashing in Sydney the week before.

The poor form has put pressure on under-siege Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. But Dwyer, who led Australia to their first rugby World Cup title in 1991, said the players must take responsibility.

"I’m sure they’re not fit enough," he said. "In Sydney there were people walking with half-an-hour to go. You can’t pin that on the coaching set-up."

Cheika has been adamant that the Wallabies’ fitness levels had improved.

"I thought the comments before the Test misled us all a bit," said Dwyer.

"We were getting comments out of the Wallaby camp that fitness had definitely improved and skill level had improved. Well, that didn’t appear to be the case."

Dwyer, who was a mentor to current England coach Eddie Jones when he moved into coaching, said Cheika was still the right man for the job.

"My opinion is he is the coach and that’s that," said Dwyer.

Australia’s next game is against SA in Brisbane on September 8.