The Courier-Mail

Sen­tence ends in time for first verse of Cheika’s World Cup

- JAMIE PANDARAM DANIEL GIL­HOOLY

WAL­LA­BIES coach Michael Cheika can of­fi­cially breathe easy know­ing his sus­pended sen­tence im­posed by SAN­ZAR of­fi­cially ex­pired last night.

Cheika had been un­der the sus­pended sen­tence for abus­ing a side­line cam­era­man dur­ing a Su­per Rugby match last year but can now get on with the job of fash­ion­ing a World Cup win with­out the headache of any lin­ger­ing ban.

The some­times

volatile coach has been a model pro­fes­sional since the sen­tence was im­posed, at times stop­ping him­self from com­ment­ing on SAN­ZAR-re­lated mat­ters for fear of ac­ti­vat­ing the ban, which ex­pired yesterday.

Cheika has called up three ex­tra play­ers for Aus­tralia’s train­ing camp in In­di­anapo­lis this week – hooker James Han­son, winger Taqele Nai­yar­a­voro, and lock Sam Carter.

The trio, who were left out of Cheika’s 31-man World Cup squad, will ar­rive in time to be con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion for the Test match this week­end against the United States in Chicago, Aus­tralia’s fi­nal match be­fore their World Cup cam­paign be­gins.

“It’s cru­cial we con­tinue to im­prove as a col­lec­tive, and hav­ing Taqele, Sam and James here in the US al­lows them to stay con­nected to the group and will help us through­out our prepa­ra­tion and train­ing,” Cheika said.

“We’ve been watch­ing Taqele with great in­ter­est through­out The Rugby Cham­pi­onship and dur­ing his World XV and Bar­bar­ians matches. Sam has been very im­pres­sive at train­ing since re­turn­ing from in­jury and a stand­out dur­ing his NRC matches in re­cent weeks.

“Both he and James are ar­riv­ing late to this camp as we wanted both play­ers to ful­fil their com­mit­ments to their re­spec­tive NRC clubs on the week­end.”

Mean­while, New Zealand skip­per Richie McCaw hopes the nam­ing of the All Blacks squad will lift the se­lec­tion anx­i­ety which has per­me­ated their game for much of the year. McCaw will lead the vastly ex­pe­ri­enced world cham­pi­ons at the tour­na­ment start­ing in less than three weeks.

McCaw be­lieves the com­pe­ti­tion for places and hype sur­round­ing the squad’s week­end se­lec­tion had played a de­bil­i­tat­ing role at times.

The 50th an­niver­sary of the Queens­land Coun­try Rugby Union will be cel­e­brated when Queens­land Coun­try host un­beaten Bris­bane City in Toowoomba on Sun­day from 3.30pm in the Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship.

 ??  ?? FRESH HOPE: Jar­ryd Hayne is tipped to make San Fran­cisco’s ros­ter. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages
FRESH HOPE: Jar­ryd Hayne is tipped to make San Fran­cisco’s ros­ter. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages
 ??  ?? JOB AHEAD: Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika.
JOB AHEAD: Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika.

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