Cheika expects England to run

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is expecting more running rugby from England this weekend in the final Test of the series.

After two games in which England has used kicking to put the Wallabies under pressure, Cheika said he expected to see some more ball in hand.

“They’ll probably throw it around a bit more,” he said.

“There’s some great players that haven’t played, like (fullback) Alex Goode.

“He’s a class footballer and he hasn’t even had a chance to play yet.

“So I’d imagine that a few of those guys who have really performed in the Premiership will get a run.

“I reckon they might try to play more footy, so they’ll be an interesting challenge for us to defend that because they’ve got some very good attacking players.”

Michael Cheika is expecting England to run. Photo: Getty ImagesCheika also reiterated his commitment to an attack heavy style, one that he says will develop as he does as a coach.

The Wallabies were left ruing missed opportunities, particularly in the second Test, with 71 per cent of possession but just one try.

“That comes, fortunately or unfortunately, that comes with the way I’ve always coached,” he said.

“You leave yourself open to that feeling of having a lot of ball but not having the joy of getting the result you want because it just doesn’t happen, the accuracy is not on that day and that’s needed to play that type of footy.

“It does leave you open to that, to be hit on the counter and I’m think that…I’m sure that that’s how we want to play rugby in Australia.

“I’m really going to stick at it and stay at it to make us really good at it, because that’s the way we want to play.

“I want to deliver that and own it when it goes wrong and then enjoy it when it goes right.

"With the correct preparation and me becoming a better coach, I can make that happen more regularly.”

Adam Coleman has trained his way into the Wallabies match squad. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyCheika has named an extended bench for Saturday night’s final Test, with Western Force lock Adam Coleman a potential debutant.

Coleman was not in Cheika’s 23 calculations even earlier this week, and in fact wasn’t named in Australia’s original 33-man squad, but the Wallabies mentor said he had impressed.

“We felt his fitness needed to go to a better level and he’s been really pushed hard over the three weeks and he’s dealt with it, he’s grown with it and he’s been really good at training in the contact stuff and I just think that warrants an opportunity,” he said.

“We’re obviously deciding whether we go 6-2 or 5-3, which we’ll do on Friday, but I’d really like to give him the opportunity to play.”

Will Skelton brings size. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyCheika admitted that bringing Will Skelton into the lineup would put extra pressure on their lineout, but it was something they simply had to “be crafty’ about.

“It will always impact our lineout so I've got to be crafty, but I've been really pleased with, I think it's improved since last year from the World Cup,” he said.

“We've got to work a bit better on our delivery of the ball, we've won nearly all our ball but our delivery sometimes hasn't been right, which is a part of it.

“But we feel the complementary nature of the team allows us to do well in lineouts and in defensive lineouts as well.”