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Cheika's gift has got the rugby world watching Australia

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Australia coach Michael Cheika clearly has the ability to electrify a group of players and arch them to their full expression. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Australia coach Michael Cheika clearly has the ability to electrify a group of players and arch them to their full expression. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Australia coach Michael Cheika clearly has the ability to electrify a group of players and arch them to their full expression. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Michael Cheika changed Irish rugby. The problem for the rest of the world is that he might be about to do the same with Australia.

Arriving at Leinster to a group ready and willing to step out of the shadow of their more successful neighbours, he brought aggression and obsession. He brought success. He did the same with the Waratahs and while there were a few speed-bumps along the way at Stade, he clearly has the ability to electrify a group of players and arch them to their full expression.

Returning Kurtley Beale to the Australian squad just months after it looked like his international career was over will be judged by what impact Beale ultimately has at the World Cup. It does show a willingness to play with fire that means Cheika's international career will be a compelling spectacle at least.

Beale brings a sideshow and pressure but he also brings creativity and a spark that makes victory more likely if it's harnessed correctly. Cheika backs himself either way. Players should respond - particularly in the shortened time left before this World Cup.

Coming off a three-point defeat to France, they'll be hungry for another Dublin victory. Ireland owe them revenge. This one writes its own pre-game hype.

Irish Independent