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