Cheika playing it safe: Jones

International
by Sam Phillips

Alan Jones believes Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is "playing it safe" in leaving out 13 regular Wallabies for the clash with the Barbarians.

Jones has arrived in Lismore for the Barbarians' clash with a Classic Wallabies outfit on Tuesday and he didn't miss when asked about the squad Cheika named on Sunday.

"He's playing it safe - I hope he's watching this - he's playing it safe," Jones told RUGBY.com.au.

"He's not game to put the Wallabies on the paddock so he's dropped 13 of them and he's playing a new side."

The Barbarians, historically, embody attacking rugby and that won't change on Tuesday, according to Jones.Alan Jones has taken a swipe at Michael Cheika. Photo: Getty Images"It is a fun thing but we aren't playing basketball and it would be wrong if my players thought it didn't matter," he said.

"We are playing to win but we aren't going to sacrifice certain things in order to do that.

"We want people to come through the turnstiles, enjoy the experience and come back and to do that you have to play a brand of rugby and the Barbarians embody that.

"The Barbarians style is something that we really have to engender in the game because we have lost a lot of that."

Jones believes playing that enterprising style of rugby, which the Wallabies have showcased throughout The Rugby Championship, will bring people back through the gates.

"Many people feel it's more attractive to watch rugby league and AFL than it is to watch rugby," he said.

"Now, whether we can change all that in the short space of time I don't know but we will be having a go.Quade Cooper will lead an enterprising Barbarians attack. Photo: QRU Media/Meggie Whitchurch"This is genuine, fair dinkum rugby but there is still the element of fun in it.

"And unfortunately in the so called professional era we have got managers, we have got agents, we have got all this nonsense and we have lost this sense of fun that ought to be associated with all sport."

Jones showered the Wallabies with compliments when asked about their win over the All Blacks.

"It was outstanding," he said.

"I was disappointed that it wasn't a full house - I think that was very unfair to the Wallabies and they have improved a lot.

"The All Blacks are not as good as they (once) were - we should have won the last Test as well.


"Last night we outscored them and I think that Australian team is far better than what we saw last night."

Jones believes the win will give the side a great deal of confidence in the week before they set off for a Spring Tour where they will face Japan, Wales, England and Scotland.

"Where last night was important is it gives them the confidence and the hope that despite all the mess around them, they can beat anybody," he said.

"I think they most probably - at long last - feel that.

"I think this has turned the corner for them and I think Michael Cheika has done a very, very good job with them in difficult circumstances."

The Barbarians will take on the Classic Wallabies on Tuesday October 24, kicking off at 5:30pm AEDT, raising money for the Lismore Flood Appeal. The game will be streamed LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.

The Wallabies vs Barbarians kicks off at 3pm AEDT on Saturday October 28, at Allianz Stadium, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and Win.