Michael Cheika had to 'restart' Wallabies after England whitewash and NZ defeats
|Autumn International: Ireland v Australia|
|Date: Saturday, 26 November Time: 17:30 GMT Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
|Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on BBC Sport website and the Radio Ulster|
Australia coach Michael Cheika says he had to "restart from zero" with his team after the 3-0 home series whitewash by England in June and further three defeats by New Zealand.
Cheika, 49, was named 2015 world coach of the year after leading the Wallabies to last year's World Cup final.
However, the former Leinster coach then faced the task of integrating several new players into the Australia squad.
"Maybe I didn't get it 100% right at the start of the year," he told AFP.
"When the new guys started coming in, from a mental perspective maybe I tried to continue on and didn't understand that maybe they and the other players who had gone back to their Super Rugby sides had to be either reminded of the project or introduced to it for the first time."
The new players drafted into the squad for the England series and Rugby Championship campaign included winger Dane Haylett-Petty, lock Rory Arnold, centre Samu Kerevi and full-back Reece Hodge.
"We needed to go back to zero and the players told who we are and how we represent Australia and buy into the project again."
Aussies aiming for autumn grand slam
Australia's new players appear to have taken Cheika's message on board judging by the opening wins over Wales, Scotland and France on their northern hemisphere tour.
Further victories over Ireland on Saturday and England on 3 December would see the Aussies emulating the 1984 Wallabies and achieving a grand slam over the home nations.
Cheika, the only coach to win both the European Cup and Super Rugby title, says his focus on establishing an identity for the team goes back to his days at Sydney club Randwick where he was a fearless number eight.
"The club who brought me up and played for really taught me on that," added Cheika, who coached Leinster to their first European Cup triumph in 2009.
"When you're in the Aussie team you are in a position to inspire young kids and people to support us and also take up playing the game."
The periodically fiery Cheika, who had an unconventional background for a national coach after making a successful career in the fashion industry, admits his character even sometimes perplexes himself.
"I'm still learning about that stuff (his character) and maybe one day I will sit back and work out exactly what it is," said the coach, who led the Waratahs to the Super Rugby title in 2014.
Three of Cheika's children have Irish passports
Three of Cheika's four children have Irish passports after being born in Ireland during his five-year stint with Leinster between 2005-10.
Cheika's father, Joseph, moved from Lebanon to Australia over 60 years ago and the Australian coach maintains strong links with the Middle Eastern country.
"I have a lot of family still there and my mother goes there for three months a year, although it is probably not an ideal holiday destination right now considering the countries it is between," he said.
"It (Lebanon) is very much part of my heritage and I will pass it on to my kids, for sure."