Cheika accuses Jones of tarnishing legacy

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

He held his tongue in June but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is taking a different approach to his Eddie Jones reunion this time around, criticising the way Jones has treated his home country this year.

Cheika said he felt Jones directed a lot of ‘vitriol’ towards Australia during the June series, in which he let the former Wallabies coach do most of the talking.

“It's always difficult when you go back into a tournament against teams you have coached before and you don't know how to play it,” he said.

England's National coach Eddie Jones says Wallabies are the most improved team in World Rugby. Photo: Getty Images.“Do you go reserved or get stuck into them? I know what I do. Even in a country like Ireland where I coached for many years. But that is the choice he wants to make and thinks that is the best for his team.”

“There was a lot a vitriol about Australia his home nation where he coached and opportunities were given to him to grow up as a coach and play,” he said.

“Personally, if you want to leave a legacy somewhere you don't hit back at it do you when you leave.” - Michael Cheika

Cheika also stuck up for the Australian media, whom Jones accused of disrespect once again after his team’s defeat of Argentina.

Jones’s comments were in reference to an awkward exchange between he and former Wallaby and commentator Stephen Hoiles, though Cheika questioned the genuity of Jones’s anger.

“Hoilesy gave him a serve  jokingly in one of the press conferences and I think he's since called Hollesy and said it was only a joke, chin up because I think Hoilesy was bit a rattled by it because he's only new in the media,” he said.

“For him it's his career and it might be fun and games for the other guy (Jones) but for a kid like Hoilesy he's trying to build his career.

“But it's good experience for him I suppose to get in the fire. But I don't think there's disrespect from our end but that's the way she rolls.”

There has already been a tete-a-tete via the media about refereeing in this weekend’s match, with both Cheika and Jones signalling an intent for a meeting, Cheika with world rugby boss Alain Rolland and Jones with match referee Jaco Peyper.

Cheika said on Monday, though, that Rolland had not returned his requests as of yet, a move that he made after a 13-3 penalty count went against

“I made my calls the other night, the ball is in their court now.

“If they do want to get back to us, I don’t know. We’ll just see what happens,” he said.

“I’ve got to think more about this weekend than what happened last weekend right now."

Australia takes on England at Twickenham on Sunday at 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on SBS and beIn Sport (Foxtel 515).