'They'd better win', Australia's Cheika lobs first jibe at Jones
By Nick Mulvenney FUKUROI CITY, Japan, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who has a poor record against England under Eddie Jones and an even poorer record in their off-field wrangles, lobbed the first jibe at his former club mate ahead of their expected World Cup quarter-final clash.
By Nick Mulvenney
FUKUROI CITY, Japan, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Wallabies coach
Michael Cheika, who has a poor record against England under
Eddie Jones and an even poorer record in their off-field
wrangles, lobbed the first jibe at his former club mate ahead of
their expected World Cup quarter-final clash.
Australia have lost all six tests against England since
Jones took over after the last World Cup and will face them in
the last eight in Japan unless Uruguay can spring a sensational
upset of Wales on Sunday.
Cheika has sometimes appeared exasperated by his one-time
Randwick team mate's mastery of the provocative media soundbite,
especially during the June series of 2016 which England swept
Asked after Australia's win over Georgia on Friday whether
the cancellation of England's final pool match against France
because of Typhoon Hagibis was the advantage Jones had suggested
it was, Cheika fired back a tart response.
"I saw that he was saying that would be an advantage and
that the typhoon gods were smiling on him," Cheika said.
"So I suppose they better win -- they've had the best
preparation according to their coach, so they better go out
there and win."
Cheika was also asked whether England's six-match winning
streak would make them favourites for the expected quarter-final
clash, which will take place in Oita next Saturday.
"I don't know what relevance it will have -- I don't know if
it'll have any. I don't really care to be honest," he said.
"The only relevance is Saturday. That's pretty much about
it, it doesn't matter who's had a week off, who's had a week on,
who's been resting, who hasn't.
"It'll all come down to what happens on kick-off."
Cheika's Australia knocked England out of their own
tournament the last time the two teams met at the World Cup in
2015 but this Wallabies side does not appear to have the same
cohesion as the one that reached the final four years ago.
The laboured 27-8 win over Georgia followed a comeback 39-21
victory over Fiji, a 29-25 tight loss to Wales and a
straightforward 45-10 win against lowly-ranked Uruguay.
Cheika has tried to make a virtue out of his constant
tinkering with the team in Japan but appears no closer to
identifying his starter in the key flyhalf position.
Christian Lealiifano, Bernard Foley and Matt To'omua have
all had a go with the latter wearing the number 10 shirt against
"I thought he was solid, he gave good direction, it's his
first time there since last year," Cheika said.
"I thought he gave good direction to the forwards, his chat
was good. He was solid in difficult conditions.
"Like every week, I'll sit down with the selectors, look at
the pros and cons of each player according to the team we're
playing that week, and look at the best combination to do that."
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)