Rugby Union


Eddie Jones defends under fire Australian coach Michael Cheika

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Australia coach Michael Cheika has been placed under even more considerable pressure, following Saturday's 37-18 to England. So much so that he and his coaching team will all come under review over the next month.

Ultimately, the Wallabies have had an underwhelming year to say the least. Their defeat to England all but summed up what has been a very unsuccessful campaign and the Australians have picked up just four wins from their last 15 matches.

However, England coach Eddie Jones has utterly dismissed the scrutiny surrounding his compatriot and jumped at the chance to defend Cheika.

Instead, Jones has placed blame on Rugby Australia for maintaining a flawed system which, for some time, has lacked control and seen an imbalance of power among Super Rugby clubs. This, he claims, has left for a very confusing set-up which was destined to fail.

Jones, who managed the Wallabies from 2001-05, has not lost to his former side in any of the fixtures since.

The win with England on Saturday was his sixth victory over his former side. Clearly having a strong understanding of the Australian setup, Jones is adamant that Cheika is the right man for the job.

“You can criticise a coach but if your system is not right then you have to look at the system,” Jones said.

“If I was involved in Australian rugby - and I am not - you cannot have two of you biggest provinces bankrupt and still having all the control in the game.”


He went on to compare their system with those of more successful sides.

“With Ireland and New Zealand – particularly with Ireland - if you have a centralised system with a small player pool you can have a very good team and [a] consistent [team] and Australia doesn’t have that and that is what they need. That advice is for free.”

Despite this, the review will commence soon and as Australia have endured their worst year since 1958, Cheika may well have some difficult questions to answer.

England v Australia - Quilter International

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. I will be doing that.

"My goal is to make sure that we are producing the best quality rugby we can on a consistent basis.”

England Rugby
Australia Rugby
Rugby Union

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