Rugby

Cheika moved to tears over Hughes

2014-11-28 14:26
Michael Cheika (AFP)

London - Australia rugby coach Michael Cheika revealed on Friday that he broke down in tears when he learnt that cricketer Phillip Hughes had died after being struck by a ball.

Australia batsman Hughes, who would have turned 26 on Sunday, died on Thursday, two days after being struck on the head by a bouncer while playing for South Australia against New South Wales.

"I'd never met Phil, but when I heard about it I cried because there's something that touches you about it, how unfortunate it is," Cheika told a press conference in London.

"We just want to show we're praying for the family, and that's all we can do."

Cheikha confirmed that the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has asked for a minute's silence to take place before Saturday's Test match against England at Twickenham.

"Any type of respect we can show, we will. We've made some requests, but we're just waiting to hear back," said the 47-year-old, whose players will don black armbands against England.

"I just want something to happen so that his family back home know that we care and support, and I'm sure everyone in Australia is supporting them.

"Being in the pro sports game as well, you can really identify with that, and we just want to show we care and support in any small way we can.

"I think some of the lads will have crossed paths, and I don't know why, but there's that connection for some reason."

Cheika dismissed suggestions that his team would draw any form of extra motivation from Hughes's death.

"I don't think that's even fitting," he said. "It's not something we want to try to use."

The Wallabies showed their support for the #putoutyourbats social media campaign, started in honour of Hughes, by posting a photograph on Twitter of a cricket bat and batsman's glove beside a wall bearing the team's logo.

The accompanying caption read: "Crack, the sound of ball on bat. Your memory will echo through the summer."

Read more on:    michael cheika  |  rugby
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