Burke takes aim at Genia, Cheika

International
by Sam Phillips

The man who kicked the Wallabies to their last World Cup triumph believes drastic change is needed if Michael Cheika's men are to reverse their worrying form slump.

Matt Burke, speaking on Sky Racing's Big Sports Breakfast radio show on Monday, called for immediate change on two fronts.

The halves pairing and the coaching setup.

On the former, Burke said 100 Test hero Will Genia must step aside and hand the keys to the Australian attack to Jake Gordon.

"Well done to Will Genia on playing his 100th Test match and that’s an incredible achievement," Burke said.

"But I feel his play is not up to it at the moment.

"Jake Gordon must be the halfback at the World Cup.


"He doesn’t want to commit to breakdowns and they lost the ball because of that on the weekend.

"His passing is a bit slow and it’s all just a bit off."

Genia's form appears to be the least of the Wallabies' concerns but Burke questioned his commitment to the cause.

"I’ve been there as well - when you get a bit older you start to work out the consequences of putting your head in that situation," he said.

"I saw Campo go through it, I went through it.

"When you’re a young bloke you don’t care.

"When you’re a bit older you understand the consequences and I think they need some new blood in that No. 9, No. 10."

Burke also took aim at Genia's long time halves partner Bernard Foley, who has looked out of sorts since shifting to inside centre.

"Bernard Foley didn’t have a great tour," he said.

"His two games at 12 didn’t work for him.


"Then our lineouts, scrums, they’re still struggling.

"That respect factor (from opposition teams) is gone."

Burke didn't stop there.

He pushed for Jake White to take over as coach but did admit he would be surprised by a change at the top of the coaching structure.

"(Cheika) survives because he has the run of the mill at Rugby Australia," Burke said.

"He has total autonomy over that joint at the moment.

"We are down to seventh in the world after starting at number three.

"We pumped up the Aussie-Irish campaign and we have just been on a slide since then."

Burke also called for players to be picked in their natural position and to stay there, rather than chopping and changing in defence.

"In regards to getting that defensive system sorted - it is all over the shop," he said.

"They’re playing blokes out of position.

"If you want to play Folau at fullback, play him at fullback.

"Will Genia has been run around three times this year playing fullback.

"I don’t know what’s going on with their heads at the moment."