Cheika tests halves pairs

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

with North Queens­land Cowboys player TIME is so crit­i­cally short be­fore the Rugby World Cup the Wal­la­bies are fac­ing the re­al­ity their op­tions in the halves come only as pack­age deals. It has to be Bernard Fo­ley with Nick Phipps or a Quade Cooper- Will Ge­nia al­liance.

Blend­ing four such es­tab­lished play­ers might have ben­e­fits on a long tour or 18 months out, but the Wal­la­bies have only five lead- in Tests and two eas­ier World Cup games against Fiji and Uruguay to hit their peak this year.

Ev­ery­thing is aimed at a supreme per­for­mance against hosts Eng­land at Twick­en­ham on Oc­to­ber 3.

Wal­la­bies boss Michael Cheika ad­mit­ted his halves most likely would come as a proven pair, which is not to un­der­rate Brumbies Nic White, Chris­tian Leali­ifano and Matt Toomua be­ing in camp as well.

“No doubt you can mix- and­match but the logic is to try to cou­ple them ( as es­tab­lished pairs) where pos­si­ble,’’ Cheika said af­ter another in­tense 15on- 15 game sim­u­la­tion in camp on the Sun­shine Coast.

“You throw in a Matt Giteau from a to­tally dif­fer­ent scene ( com­ing from French rugby) and it gives us some very in­ter­est­ing play­mak­ing op­tions.’’

Pic­ture: CAMERON SPENCER

TRY TIME: Michael Mor­gan cel­e­brates scor­ing a try with team­mate Johnathan Thurston dur­ing the Ma­roons’ stun­ning Ori­gin III vic­tory at Sun­corp Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day night.

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