Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Cheika shrugs off Australian woes

    2016-04-27 21:03

    SYDNEY — Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has shrugged off Australia’s struggles in Super Rugby this season and hit back at critics for being too pessimistic about the local game in the lead-up to the home Test series against England.

    Four of Australia’s five Super Rugby teams are in the doldrums in the southern hemisphere competition, with only the conference-topping Melbourne Rebels exceeding expectations at the mid-point of the season.

    The slump in form has taken the gloss off Australia’s run to last year’s World Cup final, with local rugby writers already dismissing the Wallabies’ chances of beating top-ranked New Zealand in the annual Bledisloe Cup series.

    “I am not concerned at all,” Cheika told reporters in Sydney yesterday.

    “I only see opportunity all the time I watch the boys play.

    “I am not going to say it’s all going swimmingly. We would like to have a few more wins as a nation, for sure. But one thing I learnt in Super Rugby is that the season goes for 18 rounds and there is a still way to run.

    “There is a lot of carry-on from people who have a different agenda or maybe they’ve had too many years of negativity and they can’t break the cycle, instead of just saying ‘This is a game of footy, I am going to enjoy it’.”

    The Wallabies play a resurgent England in a three-Test series starting in Brisbane on June 11, which will pit Cheika’s wits against another straight-talking Australian in Eddie Jones.

    Jones has turned around England’s fortunes since their calamitous first-round exit at their home World Cup last year, with the side winning the Six Nations grand slam last month for the first time since 2003.

    “They have shown their quality by winning the grand slam straight up,” Cheika said.

    “They are the number one team in Europe and they have made it clear they want to become the number one team in the world. This is a great starting point for them.”

    Cheika has promised to cast the net far and wide in his selections, having been instrumental in bringing a policy change in Australian rugby last year that allowed foreign-based players to earn selection.

    But he gave special backing to former captain and flanker Michael Hooper, who was heavily criticised by Australia’s first World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer as being a “non-event” in Super Rugby this season.

    — Reuters.

    Read More On:  super rugby michael cheika rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 12:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 10:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 13:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 08:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 10:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 12:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 17:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 21:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.