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Wallabies 'not in Paris for a holiday'

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Joe Barton

The Wallabies have rejected suggestions they will prioritise a historic grand slam win over this weekend's clash with France, with Michael Cheika declaring he and his players aren't in Paris for a holiday.

In a city he adores, and where he played for and coached Stade Francais, Cheika is concious of the fact he can't let his guard down - and nor can his players.

"I always love coming here, sometimes that's the danger, it's too nice," he said on Monday.

"You start hanging around and cruising around instead of focusing on what we're here for.

"As much as I'd love to be just hanging out and being a tourist, because it's such a beautiful city, the business here is about playing rugby.

"(The players) get a day off where they can do what they want, (but) we're not here for tourism at the end of the day."

Cheika expects to make changes to the starting XV for Saturday's Test at Stade de France, with several stars to be rested for the all-important fixtures against Ireland and England to follow.

Victories in those two matches would secure a first grand slam since 1984 - currently the Wallabies' only successful grand slam result from nine attempts.

Cheika knows how valuable that success would be for this team and for Australian rugby, but the thought of going into any Test match half-cocked rankles him.

"I'm not going to just blank the chat of a grand slam and everything like that. I know that's very important," he said.

"But everytime we play Test footy it's probably the be all and end all for us at this level.

"I know that probably looks sideways, but it's not club footy, it's different. You've got to make sure that whatever decisions we make, they're all made with the intent of winning a Test match."

Cheika has memories of his last Spring Tour, in 2014, where a first-up victory over Wales was quickly forgotten when they were stunned by France the following week.

Cheika believes his team lost focus and, as a result, that defeat fed into losses to Ireland and England as the tour ended in disappointment.

He says the lessons learned on that trip, and a get-out-of-jail, wake-up-call win over Scotland last weekend, will ensure his team isn't underdone on Saturday.

"As much as we felt like we were probably in the middle of (playing our best footy) last week (against Scotland), we didn't - because our performance focus wasn't there," Cheika said.

"If we start thinking about the bigger picture issues we'll lose sight of what we've got to do tomorrow.

"I can assure you from having coached over here and now having coached teams coming here, that if you take your eye off the ball for a day and you rock up to Stade de France in front of 80,000 French people, you'll go home accordingly."

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