European-based Wallabies in doubt for June

Date published: February 22 2016

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Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has said that Australian players playing a full season in Europe are unlikely to be selected for the Test series against England in June.

The call was made so that players can rest and not suffer the taxing workload, with the schedules of the European seasons providing little rest ahead of the three-Test series which start on June 11.

"I probably won't call anyone who's played a full season in Europe…I won't look at playing [them] in June, so there's opportunities there," Cheika told the Canberra Times

"I think if you've played a full season over there it's a bit stupid to be bringing a guy back from there to play straight away in a Test match. 

"Then they're playing 12 months of the year.they need [to] have a rest at some stage."  

However, Cheika still has series plans for scrum-half Will Genia, despite a Top 14 stint with Stade Français.

"Of course, because he hasn't played as much," Cheika said. "If he'd had a full season it's a bit hard, but if there's guys who haven't had full seasons, and we feel the loads are right, then yes."

Cheika will travel to Europe in March to touch base with Australian players such as James Horwill, Sekope Kepu and Adam Ashley-Cooper, to get an understanding of how their bodies are before another busy year of international duties.

An opportunity might have also presented itself for Kurtley Beale, with Cheika saying the Waratahs' new number ten could slip into second receiver for the June series.

Cheika also said he wants to take note of players' individual skills sets and observe the different styles of play used by Australian rugby clubs, rather than urging players to adopt the national blueprint.

"I'm really pro our Australian teams doing whatever they need to do to be competitive and I think that competitive nature against each other will only serve to make the national team better," Cheika said.

"From there, we'll bring that experience of competition into the Australian team once we start training. 

"The tactical stuff we don't need to worry about because every team is playing different. 

"I'm happy for coaches to do whatever they want with players. 

"Players are smart enough to know 'I've got to play here one day, and here the next' – I don't think it's that big of a deal."

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