Cape Town - Wallabies
head coach Michael Cheika brought a rugby league influence one step
closer to his side when he held an opposed training session with NRL
side the Sydney Roosters on Tuesday.
Cheika has a long-standing relationship with Roosters head coach
Trent Robinson, who has previously been a part of Wallabies training.
The sides played out a hybrid game on Tuesday, playing rugby in
attack and the 13-man game in defence and vice versa, a different
structure for the both sides.
Reds and Wallabies scrum-half Nick Frisby was one man especially excited to have the Roosters drop in.
"I'm a massive rugby league fan, I am a Broncos supporter but it was a
huge thrill to see some of those guys up close and then to actually
train with them and against them was awesome," he told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.
"I just tried to stay away from the big boys."
Frisby said it was a good chance to test out some different skills
against players of a different code, in what was a physical encounter.
"I think there was a good respect for both games there today and we
ran a bit of a hybrid game, attacking in union and defending in league
and vice versa," he added.
“It was interesting to see how the different skills transfer across the different games."
Fellow scrumhalf Nick Phipps, whose Waratahs are based next door to
the Roosters during the Super Rugby season, said it was enlightening to
change things up in the session.
"It’s obviously something different that we haven't done before but
it was great training against some of those great players," he revealed.
"Such a prestigious club, a lot of history there and their players
are obviously at the peak of their game and getting to share a few ideas
and going against each other in training against teams that haven't
seen how they play too much, is something that's been pretty good."
While there were a few ideas exchanged, Phipps joked there was some
information they couldn’t get out of their league counterparts.
"It was different for them, not having that 10-metre line against
them and it was different for us the way they defended," he said.
"It was great sharing a bit of knowledge... it was a great experience."