Michael Hooper, Michael Cheika, Rugby, Rugby World Cup

Michael Hooper, Michael Cheika

Rugby: 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

Rugby: 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

8/10/2019 10:32:00 AM

Rugby : 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

Tinkering Australia coach Michael Cheika has made wholesale changes to his side to face Georgia on Friday, resting captain Michael Hooper as he ...

BookmarkTOKYO: Tinkering Australia coach Michael Cheika has made wholesale changes to his side to face Georgia on Friday (Oct 11), resting captain Michael Hooper as he eyes a World Cup quarter-final against England or France.Cheika on Monday made 10 personnel changes to his starting line-up for the Pool D clash in Shizuoka, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To'omua and Kurtley Beale keeping their places and teenage sensation Jordan Petaia switched to the right wing.

At the Movies: Korean legal thriller Innocence, urban thriller Unhinged Single mothers feel 'invisible' in Germany's coronavirus crisis Japan Airlines posts biggest loss since 2012 listing

AdvertisementAdvertisementBreaking up the famed"Pooper" back-row combo of Hooper and David Pocock among a host of changes, Cheika dismissed fears that wrapping key players in cotton wool could have a destabilising effect."One of the things that's pretty clear with this team over the years is that we've been able to build a fair bit of depth," said Cheika, who named Pocock as Wallabies skipper in the absence of partner-in-crime Hooper.

"Different teams have different ideas but keeping players competing for spots is working for us," he added."We've got the most-capped team here but part of the plan is to keep that competition and keep guys in the hunt. There's no excuses - we've just got to concentrate more and take our opportunities."

AdvertisementAdvertisementThe hulking Petaia, Australia's youngest ever World Cup player at 19, impressed against Uruguay, crashing over for one try and creating another.Cheika also moved To'omua from inside centre to fly-half, where he will link up with scrum-half Nic White for the first time, making it the 11th half-back pairing used by Australia since the 2015 World Cup.

TRUTH OR PERCEPTION"Consistency is probably something that's eluded us over the last few years," admitted Cheika, ahead of his country's first-ever Test against Georgia."But I still believe we can get better. The competition (for places) is sparking the players to want to do better. You see that really well between the half-backs."

Australia - who captured the second of their two world titles in 1999 - beat Fiji 39-21 in their opening fixture before losing 29-25 to Wales and thrashing Uruguay 45-10.The Wallabies coach called for his side to be more clinical."We're not capitalising on opportunities," said Cheika."We've just got to concentrate and stay in the moment."

Up front, prop Sekope Kepu becomes only the sixth player to win 110 caps for Australia, who have been working on avoiding high tackles after coming under scrutiny in their first two games."One of the huge things that's hurt us is penalties snuffing out our momentum," said Cheika, who, already seething over a three-match ban on winger Reece Hodge after Australia's win over Fiji, raged against the World Cup refereeing following defeat by Wales.

Singapore looks to add more business visitors as tourism wanes: STB chief Ex-Google engineer Levandowski jailed 18 months for stealing Google files before joining Uber Coronavirus cases are surging in Japan; Shinzo Abe may be bowing out

"We've got to go there targeting zero in that area."Asked about the World Cup's crackdown on high tackles, Cheika added:"No matter how you see the pictures, the penalties are real. Whether truth or perception, we are getting the arm raised against us and getting players sent to the bench. It's a reality - we've got to deal with it."

Read more: CNA »

'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clashTinkering Australia coach Michael Cheika has made wholesale changes to his side to face Georgia on Friday, resting captain Michael Hooper as he ...

Rugby: England chilled over Vunipola fitness for France clashEngland are awaiting the outcome of tests on Billy Vunipola's injured ankle as the number eight faces a race to be fit for their final Rugby World ...

Fiji will look to pressure Welsh back row, says coach McKeeFiji will look to put pressure on Wales' rejigged back row in their Rugby World Cup clash on Wednesday as the Pacific islanders seek to keep their ...

HSBC to cut up to 10,000 jobs to slash costs: Financial TimesNEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - HSBC Holdings is embarking on a cost-cutting drive that threatens as many as 10,000 jobs, the Financial Times reported on Sunday (Oct 6), citing two people briefed on the matter.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Scandal-plagued Aussie banks boost funds to repay customersAustralia's ANZ Bank said Tuesday its half-year cash profit would take a A$559 million (US$376 million) hit as a result of reimbursing customers ...

To'omua starts at flyhalf for Australia against GeorgiaTOKYO: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika named his third starting flyhalf of the World Cup on Tuesday, putting Matt To'omua in the number 10 shirt ...