McKee not surprised by Cheika call

Date published: September 22 2015

Fiji head coach John McKee was not surprised by Australia boss Michael Cheika's decision to select Michael Hooper and David Pocock together.

Unlike Fiji, Australia have yet to play a match at this year's tournament, which is why there had been some uncertainty about the approach that Cheika would adopt. However, McKee does not think it was a difficult decision for him to make.

Nor is McKee surprised by that decision.

"We suspected Australia would go with Hooper and Pocock in the back-row," McKee told journalists on Tuesday.

"That was the combination that was so successful in the Bledisloe Cup game in Sydney [against New Zealand] just over a month ago, so they've gone with that again, and it gives them good mobility in the back row," added the Fiji coach.

While the match won't be as critical to the Australians this week, Fiji do have to win, as they were defeated by England in their tournament opener at Twickenham on Friday.

McKee said: "Twickenham was a massive challenge for us, with it being their home ground, and doubling up as the opening game and ceremony."

The one positive aspect is that Fiji are in the position to throw caution to the wind this week, as that first assignment for the campaign has been completed.

"But our first game is behind us now and, although we have another massive game coming up, we won't have those first game jitters," added McKee.

"The boys are well aware of the pressures around the game, but I don't think those pressures will match the pressure of playing England at Twickenham in the opening game."