Cheika goads Jones over his ‘weird’ guest at England camp
Australian expects coach Stuart to unsettle squad Wallabies chief: I avoid analysing opponents
in Tokyo England head coach Eddie Jones’s Antipodean hirings have included:
Scott Wisemantel Attack coach
Jason Ryles Defence coach
Dean Benton Fitness and conditioning coach
Glen Ella Backs coach
Andrew Johns Consultant
Warrick Harrington Performance analyst ways had the last word, having won all six of his encounters with Cheika’s Wallabies.
At their training camp in Odawara, Cheika yesterday dismissed that record as “irrelevant”, adding: “Looking backwards is only going to give you a sore neck. We’ve got opportunities this week and we’ve got to take them. I am just a believer. Call me a sucker. I know there are other people who won’t give us a chance. But when you do believe in yourself, you are much closer to being able to create history. That’s what we need to do; that’s what we want to do.”
Cheika mostly kept his powder dry in his discussion of Jones, but could not resist a couple of sly digs at his old adversary, suggesting England got an “early heads up” on the cancellation of their fixture against France that allowed them to move their training base to Miyazaki. He also made a pointed reference to wishing not to feature in a movie or a book as Jones had done recently.
A detached Cheika also claims to have done no analysis on England, who won all three of the pool matches they were able to play. “Don’t really have [an analysis], mate,” Cheika said. “Lots of respect but I’m not a big analyser of the opposition. I’m always telling my coaches not to watch the opposition so much. I’m interested in our blokes, our team and our analysis so that it can help us be better.”
On his own team, Cheika denied that he had any uncertainty around his fly-half selection. Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley all started matches in the No 10 shirt during the pool stages. Yet Cheika indicated that was always the plan, with Lealiifano having only recently returned to international rugby after a battle with leukaemia.
“Obviously, Christian hasn’t played a lot of Test footy and he’s been building back from quite a serious illness,” Cheika said. “I’m not going to throw him in every single minute of every game and say ‘go slug it out’.”
Defeat against England could well end Cheika’s reign as Australia head coach yet he says that he is not thinking about the future.
“I’m only thinking about today. Actually, you’d get on well with my missus, she’s always asking what’s going on tomorrow or next week or the week after and I never tell her because I want to enjoy today. I’ll back myself to do whatever and I don’t really care about later on.”
Preparation: Eddie Jones invited an Australian coach to his training