Evan George takes a look at the top five of all time.
The Wallabies’ starting XV for Wednesday’s match in Cardiff is set to be announced on Monday and Cheika revealed there was no point sugar-coating decisions or coming up with false explanations when dealing with such a talent-laden squad as Australia’s.
Wallabies halfback Will Genia has vowed to use the Rugby World Cup to win back the respect of the Australian public, after admitting the team felt underprepared for their failed 2011 campaign.
WALLABIES: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio.
“I can say the mindset is changing, you can never be happy with where you are because there’s one scrum you knock off and you get knocked over”.
“David has been training the whole way through at 8 now since after the Rugby Championship so he’s getting more of a head around that”.
“It’s important to give everyone an opportunity early on”, Cheika said.
Scrum-half Will Genia has recovered from knee trouble to return to the run-on side for the first time since the Wallabies’ 24-20 win over South Africa last July. Here’s Tim Maguire as he compares it to other controversial World Cup finishes.
“I think the team is physically feeling good and is ready to play footy”.
“I think they’ve really enjoyed working together”.
With the world still abuzz with Japan’s unexpected triumph against South Africa, the Wallabies have been put on notice to be ruthless against an opponent ranked well below them.
Still, it remains a strong squad with the welcome injection of electrifying test rookies Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo although an easy romp through their pool games is not ideal preparation for the tougher ones to follow.
But he combined well with Foley in the second half of the Wallabies’ win over the U.S. and Cheika said Genia’s experience and option-taking at the rucks won him the spot over Nick Phipps.
Australia’s standing in global rugby has been up and down for much of this century after the Wallabies last World Cup victory in 1999, but recent form has them sitting second in the world behind reining World Cup champions, New Zealand.
“I think that it’s a little bit of a gray area”. And then Phipps has also been excellent as well.
“Sometimes it’s like “mate, this my gut feel” or “this is way I’m going to do it”.
Cheika has gone with two locks on the bench in the hulking Will Skelton and Dean Mumm to counter what he expects to be a big physical challenge from the Fijians. But he was forced to apologise for a [foul-mouthed] message on social media recently and I’ve seen him implode too many times in big games at the World Cup and Bledisloe Cup.
“He has been going very, very well at training”.