Jones tainting his legacy in Australia, says Cheika

Michael Cheika looks on during a Wallabies training session.
Michael Cheika looks on during a Wallabies training session. Dan Mullan

RUGBY UNION: Michael Cheika has arrived in London swinging, taking particular aim at rival coach Eddie Jones ahead of the Test at Twickenham on Sunday (12.30am AEST).

Continuing the war of words between the two former teammates at Randwick, Cheika claims Jones is tainting his legacy as a former Wallabies coach by constantly attacking them now he's the England mentor.

As Australia prepares to end its Spring Tour, the two countries will meet for the first time since England won 3-0 Down Under in June. The whitewash is part of a 13-game winning streak England is enjoying under Jones.

"In June maybe I gave him the opportunity to be like the goal-scorer who scores against his old team,” Cheika said.

"It's always difficult when you go back into a tournament against teams you have coached before and you don't know how to play it.

"Do you go reserved or get stuck into them? I know what I'd do, even in a country like Ireland where I coached for many years.

"But that is the choice he wants to make and thinks that is the best for his team.

"There was a lot of vitriol about Australia, his home nation, where he coached and opportunities were given to him to grow up as a coach and play.

"Personally, if you want to leave a legacy somewhere, you don't hit back at it, do you, when you leave.”

After arriving from Dublin, where the Wallabies suffered a 27-24 defeat to Ireland, Cheika did not get the news he wanted to hear, with World Rugby referees' boss Alain Rolland so far denying him a meeting.

The Wallabies were on the wrong end of a 13-3 penalty count against the Irish, leaving Cheika frustrated.

"I've got nothing from him. You'll have to ring him and ask him where it's at,” he said.

"I made my calls the other night, the ball is in their court now.

"If they do want to get back to us, I don't know. We'll just see what happens.

"I've got to think more about this weekend than what happened last weekend right now.”

As an added blow Will Genia looks set to miss the Test, with his French side, Stade Francais, refusing to release him.

"Right now, from the conversations we've had with Paris, they're not releasing him,” Cheika said.

"We'll have another crack and see what we can do, but it seems unlikely with the French, they obviously place more importance on their game for Will than our international.

"That's the way the rules are, so we'll just have to deal with it.

"We asked last night after the game and that was the response they came back with.”

Australia could also be without Dean Mumm after the forward was cited following a dangerous tackle on Ireland's Tadhg Furlong.

Jones told BBC radio he believed Australia had purposely rested players to best prepare themselves for the final match of its Spring Tour.

"If you look at the way they've selected their side on tour, they're looking to peak for this game,” Jones said. "This is a game they want to win against us. Our challenge is to peak ourselves and to be mentally sharp, physically powerful and tactically right.

"This is a big game for us and I want us to be absolutely aware of anything we need to in terms of planning for Australia.”

Topics:  eddie jones michael cheika spring tour wallabies

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