Australia without Pocock, Beale and Ashley-Cooper for Twickenham clash
- Author: Steve Townsend Nov 26, 2018,
Nov 26, 2018, 11:30
Australia head coach Michael Cheika discusses leaving Kurtley Beale off the Wallaby 23 to face England, on a game day when the team wears a special indigenous jersey. If we want to compete with the best, all the small short cuts have to be gone, on and off the field.
"We were well into the week, so the idea was to focus on the [Italy] game, to get through that and then deal with it afterwards", Hooper said.
IT was put to Michael Cheika after the Wallabies' record sixth successive defeat to England, ending their worst year, that he must be glad 2018 is finished.
As for the reception Australia would receive at Twickenham on Saturday, Cheika said: "We're going to cop a heap of grief -- probably a little bit more after today for sure -- but you've got to love it".
Australia have suffered significant disruption after their breakdown master David Pocock was ruled out of Saturday's final November worldwide against England at Twickenham and two players were not considered for a breach of team protocol. The former Wasps playmaker said that the shirt galvanised the team and represented "a really important step towards reconciliation".
On the matter of the review, Cheika said: "Sometimes you've got to review, you've got to look back and you've got to see what is working, what is not working and what can I do differently".
"It's a relatively minor inter-team rule that we have. We all have to stand shoulder to shoulder", she said.
"It's extremely hard. There's no way around it".
Cheika said there would be no further fines or sanctions handed down to Beale and Ashley-Cooper, who trained with the team on Friday at the side's captain's run at Twickenham.
Kyle Sinckler clearly wasn't too taken with the action of the leadership group, and let the Australian forward pack know early in the second half.
"But once it was pointed out to them that the rule was there for a reason, they recognised that they had erred, and they accepted the team and Michael's position".
"He just made a mistake like any other player would", Cheika said.
Next season will be the culmination of Cheika's tenure and their finish in the World Cup will likely colour the past four years, something Cheika has himself admitted.
Instead, because of the breach, Cheika has been forced to pick two specialist wingers in Sefanaia Naivalu and Marika Koroibete as reserves, leaving their playmaking stocks vulnerable should Matt Toomua or Bernard Foley get injured.