Cheika: ‘There is no secret squirrel’

Date published: October 30 2015

Australia head coach Michael Cheika revealed there is nothing to reports suggesting he does not say the phrase 'All Blacks' in order to avoid the defending champions' hoodoo.

Reports have suggested the Wallaby coach never refers to the New Zealand as the All Blacks, but rather the name of their country. However, the Australian laughed it off.

"I've read a bit about that, where they've had a bit of a crack at me thinking that I don't say that for a certain reason," said Cheika.

"But it's pretty funny because if you notice, I never call Australia the Wallabies either. I'm really a bit old-fashioned in that way. I think Australia is Australia and New Zealand is New Zealand and France is France and it's a battle between nations on that stage. So there’s no secret squirrel."

Cheika then showed his humorous side by imitating what would happen if he muttered the dreaded phrase. 

"Can I say All Blacks now for you? Right, OK. Aaaaagh, poltergeist!" he said while chocking himself.

"No, mate…maybe everybody's got a little bit too much time on their hands because that's like making something out of nothing."

Meanwhile, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen admitted that he hadn't heard about Cheika's banned words, but nonetheless offered up his own jibe in retort.

"I didn't know that," confirmed Hansen. 

"They can call us whatever they want. Being Aussies, they probably will."