Cheika wants to see Rugby State of Origin concept

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika would like to see a rugby union State of Origin, but it won’t work if it’s a carbon copy of the league version.

Queensland and New South Wales administrators are believed to be discussing the concept this week and Cheika said the concept had legs, but would need to be done right.

It has been proposed the fixture would be run after the June series, between the Wallabies’ Test against Scotland and the resumption of Super Rugby.

“If we do something like that, it's got to have the uniqueness about it, not just go and copy off the rugby league way and see if that works,” he said.
Stephen Moore would like to see a State of Origin in rugby. Photo: Getty Images“It’s got to have something about why it would be a special event as opposed to sticking another game in the calendar and always about the timing, when it's on.

“When it's on will be important as to how seriously the fixture is taken. A fixture like that, to be successful, has to be taken really seriously.

“The timing of when it's on will decide how serious. lf it's taken sand I think that will be key if they are thinking about when it happens.”

In a week focused around novel rugby ideas, Cheika said the Brisbane Tens initiative was good because it put Super Rugby into the conversation.

“It’s good that it makes a bit of noise about Super Rugby, which is a really good tournament and I don’t think  enough people watch it.”
Taniela Tupou and Chris Latham will suit up for Queensland at the Tens. Photo: WalmsleyCheika travelled to Queensland on Monday and has met with all the Super Rugby franchises in recent weeks and said he expected improvement from all the Australian Super Rugby sides in 2017, after one of the worst records across the board in 2017.

“We've been working on a lot of things around continuity since I got in (as Wallabies coach) in ‘14 around getting more collaboration, getting more things happening with one plan and slowly but surely that's starting to come together.

“I think we're going to see improved performances, some improved performances from the Super Rugby teams across the board this season.”