We're feeling the same things as the fans: Cheika

by Sam Phillips

Michael Cheika has spoken to the man behind the Facebook post that has encapsulated the mood of the Australian rugby fanbase, assuring him he is not alone in his frustration.

As the Wallabies prepare for the third and final Test of the June Series, this post from Jack Quigley has dominated the public conversation in the wake of the loss to Scotland.

"I spoke to the gentleman and gave him a ring because I think it's important that we talk to the fans," Cheika said on Monday.

"When we come out to pressers and say that we want to make the fans proud - that's not lip service - we do.

"We're not perfect at it sometimes but I think that he's expressed how he is feeling after the game and I don't think it would be too far away from - maybe not in the detail - but not too far away from how some of us were feeling about it as well.

"I spoke to him about some of the things that we are feeling, what we are trying to do around it and what some of those things are in the background. - Michael Cheika

"We're feeling the same thing as fans."

Cheika is looking at the post in a positive light, as it clearly shows an underlying passion and a strong desire for success at the highest level.

"I'm certainly part of that world where I'm a fan as well - of many other sports and of our own too - I want to see Australia do the best it can and I understand that if they didn't want us to do well, that wouldn't be coming out," he said.Quigley's post took aim at Bernard Foley's goal kicking. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"You can look at it in a negative way if you want to be negative but if you want to say that these are people who care about how we play - we have to respond to that.

"We often talk about the identity of the team and we do a lot of things away from the game that make us live that theory.

"But at the end of the day the only way we can show our fans who we are is on that day - match day.

"That's when we have to show it."

Cheika has pinned the post in the team room and said it had caught a few players off guard.

"We put the post up on the wall and that was pretty confronting for a few of the guys because they hadn't seen it - it was pretty heavy in some ways.

"That's the message there and then."

While he did agree with most of Quigley's points, he didn't give thought to the notion that the playing group simply do not care enough.

"I don't think that we don't care - I just didn't think we were good enough," Cheika said.

"With emotion those things get said all the time but there's no doubt about it - this team cares - you guys see the way they put in and work hard at training."