Rugby Union - Australia v Uruguay - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A - Villa Park, Birmingham, England - 27/9/15 Australia head coach Michael Cheika before the game Reuters / Darren Staples

Michael Cheika has insisted the Wallabies need to continue improving if they are to win against England at Twickenham next Saturday.

The Wallabies coach had made 14 changes from the line-up that unconvincingly defeated Fiji 28-13, and despite the team’s 65-3 victory last night, Cheika described the victory as “rugged”.

“I thought it was a pretty rugged game to be honest,” Cheika said post-match.

“We’re going to have to improve on the first two matches to be able to compete with England.”

Although the quality of the opponents was lacking, with Uruguay only having four professional rugby players in their line-up, certain Australian players managed to raise their contention for a starting position in the team to play England.

“I think there’s a few players that definitely put their hand up for a selection,” Cheika said.

With last night’s squad referred to as the “B team” against Uruguay, Cheika admitted the performance of some standout players last night has caused selection headaches ahead of the next test.

“We’ll take time to look back through the film and make some assessments around our selection going forward.”

In the build up to the Rugby World Cup, Cheika stated that it was his intention to utilise the depth in his 31-man squad team by selecting two entirely different outfits for the opening two fixtures.

“It’s also important that we select a squad that will handle the tournament play and our draw in particular at the Rugby World Cup, as well as maintain a strong competition for places in the team,” Cheika said in August on rugby.com.au.

With Australia within reach of a top two finish, the team Cheika decides to run out against the Red and Whites will be the most important decision of their World Cup campaign.

Quade Cooper, Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale were impressive in creative roles last night and will be pushing for a starting position, although Cooper’s poor conversion rate and yellow card will most likely see him fall behind Bernard Foley in the pecking order. Beale was used off the bench against Fiji and looks set to retain that position due to his versatility, whilst Mitchell could have earned himself a call-up after breaking the Australian try-scoring record last night.

Sean McMahon and Ben McCalman were influential performers in the backrow and will have to contest with incumbents David Pocock and Michael Hooper for a start, though they may have to settle for a bench role at best.

With England coming off a painful 28-25 loss to Wales after beating Fiji 35-11 in the first game of the tournament, they remain the only team in Pool A so far to have taken a possible two bonus points from two games.

If Australia manage to lose by more than seven points to England, the bonus point they failed to take against Fiji in their opening match may come back to spoil their progression to the quarterfinals – and it could have them relying on a victory over Wales with at least four tries to continue in the competition.

If the Wallabies can record a win over Stuart Lancaster’s side on Saturday, it will all but seal them a top two position in Pool A, with some unlikely results pending, and could force a premature end to the host nation’s campaign.

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