Infotainment Factory: Cheika explains shock decision to axe Beale

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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Cheika explains shock decision to axe Beale


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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika admits his shock decision to axe Kurtley Beale for the clash with England was down to the playmaker's indifferent form.

The NSW Waratahs star struggled with his kicking game against Wales two weeks ago and made little impression when he came off the bench in the Italy Test in Padua last week.

With his team's attack struggling, Cheika decided to act and dropped Beale for the first time in his reign as coach.

"I dont know if we've really fired this year in the three-quarters," Cheika said.

"I want to play this game in a certain way.

"I had to make some difficult decisions there around who is going to play that style of game and that is what I come up with."

The team will wear their indigenous jersey at Twickenham on Saturday (0200, Sunday AEDT), but Beale - the only Aboriginal member of the squad - will be watching on from the stands.

https://twitter.com/qantaswallabies/status/1065617146057768960

Cheika said the shirt is a source of huge pride for the team, but insisted he couldn't allow sentiment to cloud his selection or tactics.

"I don't want to be romantic about that situation and it means a lot to all of us," Cheika said.

"Kurtley shared a couple of stories this week. Every time we wear the jersey we want to learn a little bit more indigenous history which isn't taught to us as much at school as it should be.

"He told those stories with passion this week and as representatives of the sporting field it is the right thing to do."

Talismanic back-rower David Pocock is named in the team following the neck injury he sustained in Italy despite not being able to train all week.

Cheika said the John Eales Medallist still needs to get through one final training run on Friday but is confident he'll play.

If he does fail to complete it, Beale could earn a reprieve by the way of a bench spot.

https://twitter.com/qantaswallabies/status/1064812908352335874

"I wouldn't say (he's) fully (fit,) I'll be fair and square about that, otherwise he would be training today," Cheika said.

"He's hurting but he's desperate to play.

"He puts his head into places people don't go to and he's copped a fair few whacks.

"He's certainly not scared, hopefully he gets looked after when he's in there.

"He's telling me he can get there. He's done a few things which he's felt alright with ... I think he'll be alright."

Cheika has made five changes to the side that won last week with young Melbourne Rebels winger Jack Maddocks selected ahead of Marika Koroibete who scored twice.

He has also maintained faith with Bernard Foley at inside centre and kept Matt Toomua at five-eighth.

Dane Haylett-Petty moves from fullback to right wing, with Israel Folau dropping to the custodian role.

Veteran prop Sekope Kepu is named in the starting line-up for the first time on the tour with Tolu Latu preferred at hooker to Folau Fainga'a.

Team: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks, Matt Toomua, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (capt), Jack Dempsey, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio. Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Sefa Naivalu.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika admits his shock decision to axe Kurtley Beale for the clash with England was down to the playmaker's indifferent form.

The NSW Waratahs star struggled with his kicking game against Wales two weeks ago and made little impression when he came off the bench in the Italy Test in Padua last week.

With his team's attack struggling, Cheika decided to act and dropped Beale for the first time in his reign as coach.

"I dont know if we've really fired this year in the three-quarters," Cheika said.

"I want to play this game in a certain way.

"I had to make some difficult decisions there around who is going to play that style of game and that is what I come up with."

The team will wear their indigenous jersey at Twickenham on Saturday (0200, Sunday AEDT), but Beale - the only Aboriginal member of the squad - will be watching on from the stands.

https://twitter.com/qantaswallabies/status/1065617146057768960

Cheika said the shirt is a source of huge pride for the team, but insisted he couldn't allow sentiment to cloud his selection or tactics.

"I don't want to be romantic about that situation and it means a lot to all of us," Cheika said.

"Kurtley shared a couple of stories this week. Every time we wear the jersey we want to learn a little bit more indigenous history which isn't taught to us as much at school as it should be.

"He told those stories with passion this week and as representatives of the sporting field it is the right thing to do."

Talismanic back-rower David Pocock is named in the team following the neck injury he sustained in Italy despite not being able to train all week.

Cheika said the John Eales Medallist still needs to get through one final training run on Friday but is confident he'll play.

If he does fail to complete it, Beale could earn a reprieve by the way of a bench spot.

https://twitter.com/qantaswallabies/status/1064812908352335874

"I wouldn't say (he's) fully (fit,) I'll be fair and square about that, otherwise he would be training today," Cheika said.

"He's hurting but he's desperate to play.

"He puts his head into places people don't go to and he's copped a fair few whacks.

"He's certainly not scared, hopefully he gets looked after when he's in there.

"He's telling me he can get there. He's done a few things which he's felt alright with ... I think he'll be alright."

Cheika has made five changes to the side that won last week with young Melbourne Rebels winger Jack Maddocks selected ahead of Marika Koroibete who scored twice.

He has also maintained faith with Bernard Foley at inside centre and kept Matt Toomua at five-eighth.

Dane Haylett-Petty moves from fullback to right wing, with Israel Folau dropping to the custodian role.

Veteran prop Sekope Kepu is named in the starting line-up for the first time on the tour with Tolu Latu preferred at hooker to Folau Fainga'a.

Team: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks, Matt Toomua, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (capt), Jack Dempsey, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio. Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Sefa Naivalu.

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