‘Wallabies will attack England’ – Michael Cheika

Date published: October 18 2019 - David Skippers

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has promised to use an attacking game-plan when they face England in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita on Saturday.

Cheika will lock horns with his old Randwick team-mate Eddie Jones for the last time in their current roles as the losing coach is expected to depart should they suffer defeat in the last eight showdown.

Australia are substantial underdogs, not least because of their six-Test losing run against Jones’ England, but Cheika insists they will play without restraint.

“I always say, but no one seems to believe me, that my attention is always on just Australia, the type of game we can bring and how we can attack the opposition whether that’s with the ball or without it,” he told PA.

“Not thinking about how we’re going to defend against the opposition and what they will attack us with. Then it becomes a battle of will, who wants to attack more?

“When I talk about attack I’m not just talking about with the ball, I’m talking about who wants to attack more.

“We’re almost I suppose dead in that way because the fear inside us is dead. We’re not afraid to go there and get it and that means it’s going to be a great game.”

For all their history as sparring partners as coaches, Cheika and Jones have engaged on a joint charm offensive this week.

Cheika, however, does not believes Jones’ claim that his decision to drop George Ford in favour of Henry Slade in order to beef-up England’s midfield is due to the threat of Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi.

“Most of that stuff is, what’s the word for it? Fake news? Like ‘I changed this because this is happening’,” he added.

“Mate, none of us are giving out our tactics in real life and we’d be mad if we did. If he was really telling me that he’s changing the thing because of this… well I’m not going to go to my blokes and say ‘well, he changed everything because of you guys’.

“It’s irrelevant to us, that stuff, it’s just like turn up and be ready and play what’s in front of you.

“It doesn’t matter, as long as you know exactly what you want to get and you go out and get it.”