England coach Eddie Jones has fired another shot in a long list of verbal jabs thrown at Michael Cheika in an attempt to draw the Wallabies coach into confrontation prior to their three-test match series in just under two weeks time.
The two Aussies are former teammates at Randwick club in Sydney and are longstanding friends who built a reputation as jokers with a penchant for slagging while at the club.
While the nature of these comments are not as malicious as they would appear, Jones decided to yet again antagonise Cheika before his team boarded their flight for Brisbane, by accusing Cheika of engaging in mind games ahead of the series. (source via sms.com.au)
“At the moment, Cheik’s got smoke and mirrors everywhere,” Jones told The Australian.
“I wouldn’t pay any credence to what he’s saying at the moment.
“The new, mellow Cheik has a lot of deception about him, so let’s just wait and see.”
Jones has said the due to the serious nature of the tour that plans for meeting Cheika socially for a drink were not on his agenda, certainly prior to the game, and that any notion of such would have to be put on hold until after the series is decided: (source via telegraph.co.uk)
“I’m sure at some stage we might (go out for a beer) but it’s not on the agenda at the moment,” he told The Australian newspaper.
The former Wallabies mentor knows better than most the stern challenge that awaits his side down under, and while he expects a hostile Aussie crowd, he has warned of weaknesses in the Australian side which he intends to expose:
“There’s definitely weaknesses in the Australian team, like any team,” he said.
“There’s weaknesses in the All Black team. But you’ve got to be good enough to be able to explore them.
“The way the Wallabies defend, they give you a very good chance to get at them and that’s something we’ll be looking at very closely.”
The first leg of the three-match test series will take place Saturday week, June 11 in Brisbane.