Rugby Union


Michael Cheika hints that stars will be rested for England visit

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Michael Cheika has said that some players will be given a chance to rest instead of featuring in June's three-test series against England.

Players, such as Toulon's Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell, who represent teams from outside the Aussie borders will be given a chance to recover following tough European seasons.

"Guys who have had a full season, it's unlikely they will be playing in June and that's a good opportunity for us to get some new players in because we're very keen to grow the base of players that can really contribute to the team," Cheika told Sky Sports.


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Along with Giteau and Mitchell, scrum-half Will Genia and do-it-all back Adam Ashley-Cooper will be monitored so they can feature later in the season.

All the players are said to be keen on playing, but, their services may be held back for a more important challenge toward the later stages of the southern hemisphere season.

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Cheika added: "The only way to do that is to give them opportunities and then after they (the overseas-based players) have had a bit of a break at the end of their season, we'll look at selection for the Rugby Championship."

Smart Move?

It is a risky move from the head coach, but a wise one nevertheless to rest some of these names. These players will undoubtedly be tired after a gruelling season, and a summer featuring several test matches is not the best conditioning method.

A mini-break for Giteau and co. will not only give the Wallabies a better chance of retaining their Rugby Championship crown but give the players longevity through upcoming seasons.

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Also, given the ease with which the Wallabies were able to sweep aside England at the World Cup, they are entitled to some confidence besides.

England's chances

England may be buoyed by this news, though. They too are confident, having claimed a first Grand Slam in 13 years only a few weeks ago.

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Eddie Jones' men also escaped a brief scare with two key players, prop Joe Marler and number 10-come-inside centre Owen Farrell receiving small punishments for last weekend's indiscretions.

Michael Lynagh, the legendary Aussie fly-half already speculated that England could achieve a whitewash over their southern hemisphere opponents. If Australia become too complacent, rest too many stars, then they may hand England the scalp they need to improve even more.

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Jonny Wilkinson
Owen Farrell
England Rugby
Six Nations
Australia Rugby
Rugby Union
IRB Rugby World Cup
Manu Tuilagi

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