Coleman release a quick decision for 'family-first' Wallabies

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Adam Coleman's departure triggered a selection rush for the Wallabies but Michael Cheika's family-first view meant there was no debate in letting the second rower leave camp hours before Saturday's Test.

Coleman and partner Tonia have a baby due later this month and when there were signs that their delivery might be coming early, Cheika was quick to release his star lock to return to his family.

From there, it was a rush to recall Rob Simmons, who was set to play for the Sydney Rays in the NRC on Saturday afternoon before he jumped on a plane back to Brisbane.

Cheika said there was no question about releasing Coleman when the news filtered out.

"Adam’s wife’s heavily pregnant so it looked like things were happening, so he needed to go back home, family first," he said.

"We all know that, that’s what we’re like in our team here. There was no question of getting getting back there to be with her tonight.

"The other boys filled in pretty quickly.


"Simmo, who we sent back to Sydney to play NRC, I feel so guilty because I forced the Sydney guys to make him play and then I rang the coach Chris Whitaker at 12:30 or 1 o'clock and said, 'Mate, I need this bloke back on a plane'.

"He didn't have another player, I'm not sure if they played with 22 so I apologise."

 It is unclear whether Coleman will be available to play next week and it will be a wait and see for injured pair David Pocock and Israel Folau as well.

Folau was ruled out late on Friday afternoon still unable to shake an ankle concern suffered in the first Bledisloe and Cheika said the decision on the fullback would be left until later in the week.

"It was yesterday afternoon made the final decision there," he said.

I'll wait and see how his first couple of days (go). I thought he was going to play this week, so I'm certainly not going to say he's going to be there next week. 

"I'm going to wait and see how the week pans out and prepare accordingly but I don't think he'll be to far away.

"He's still got a fair bit of neck stiffness but he's the ultimate pro Pocock so he'll be doing everything he can to be back."

The Wallabies take on Argentina on Saturday September 15 at Cbus Super Stadium, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten, Macquarie Radio and RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.