Sunday 25 September 2016

Cheika: I did not get 'bullied' by Jones

Gavin Mairs

Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30

Cheika: “We are down, but we will be getting back up, don’t worry about that,” Photo credit Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Cheika: “We are down, but we will be getting back up, don’t worry about that,” Photo credit Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Michael Cheika has hit back at suggestions that he has been "bullied" by Eddie Jones in the media exchanges ahead of the first two Test defeats by England and insists his Australia side will not alter their game-plan for the final Test in Sydney.

  • Go To

Michael Cheika has hit back at suggestions that he has been "bullied" by Eddie Jones in the media exchanges ahead of the first two Test defeats by England and insists his Australia side will not alter their game-plan for the final Test in Sydney.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen caused a stir on Monday by claiming that Cheika had been wrong not to engage with Jones and that the psychological edge England had gained as a result had affected the players.

Cheika strongly rejected that assertion, insisting that he had not engaged in mind games with Jones because "it has no bearing whatsoever on the end result" and warned that while it was "easy to kick blokes when they're down", Australia were ready to bounce back.

"We are down, but we will be getting back up, don't worry about that," said Cheika. "That's a place where sometimes a lot of people like to see us, especially in rugby in Australia - down.

"We have been down before and we have got back up. That is certainly not what motivates me, what someone says in a newspaper. It is just an opportunity to take a potshot.

"Also we are not going to lose our belief because we lost a game."

Cheika was previously renowned for looking to gain an edge in the narrative ahead of major games but said his attitude had changed since taking over the Wallabies in November 2014.

"It is different in the national team," he added. "It is not a toy you can play with."

Cheika suffered a further setback with the news that No 8 Ben McCalman had been ruled out for up to six weeks. McCalman, who replaced the injured David Pocock after the first Test, had been expected to start in Sydney.(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport