Cheika’s backrow gamble to keep series alive

Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon has been entrusted to fill David Pocock's no.8 role for the Wallabies in the 2nd Test. No, he's not started there before... Image via Wallabies Facebook.

Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon has been entrusted to fill David Pocock’s no.8 role for the Wallabies in the 2nd Test. No, he’s not started there before… Image via Wallabies Facebook.

Rugby News (Australia): The moment last weekend David Pocock was ruled out for the rest of the Cook Cup series, the hottest question in Australian rugby has been, “who will ‘Cheik’ pick?”

With specialist No.8s Ben McCalman and Wycliff Palu in the Wallabies squad already, they loomed as the obvious replacement for Pocock at the back of the Wallabies scrum for the must-win Second Test in Melbourne. If the Wallabies were to force the series into a decider in Sydney, then surely the Australian pack needed to fight English physicality with fire.

The ‘Pooper’ experiment might have reached its use-by date, so surely it was time to go back to the tried and tested.

No, Siree, Bob. And I don’t mean Mr Dwyer.

Michael Cheika’s Wallabies vision for the good of Australian rugby

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika on not coaching during Super Rugby: "There’s no point in me coaching players that are already been coached" Image: ABC Grandstand

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika on not coaching during Super Rugby: “There’s no point in me coaching players that are already been coached” Image: ABC Grandstand

Rugby News (Australia): Like his former Randwick teammate and now English counterpart Eddie Jones, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is an engrossing conversation away from the all-in press conference situation. His demeanour is very similar to what you see on TV, but when he gets the chance to expand and be expressive, the honesty is quite refreshing.

Now free of the Super Rugby commitments that made the first half of his 2015 ridiculously busy for a Rugby World Cup year, Cheika has been able to spend the first half of this year in observation mode.

In the lead-up to tonight’s First Test in Brisbane, it was really interesting to speak in depth with the Wallabies coach on a number of topics surrounding this series, and the state of the game in Australia..

The Brumbies saga: what happened and when

On the field, everything's going swimmingly for the Brumbies. Off the field, however... Image: ABC Grandstand

On the field, everything’s going swimmingly for the Brumbies. Off the field, however… Image: ABC Grandstand

Rugby News (Australia): Are you having trouble keeping up with the whole mess currently threatening the Brumbies? You’re not alone, and with the situation changing almost by the minute at times earlier this week, it has been difficult to fully get around the key events that led to CEO Michael Jones being stood down this week.

Jones was sensationally relieved of his duties on Monday night, after an extraordinary interview with Tim Gavel on 666 ABC Canberra last Saturday. In an interview initially designed to put an end to the rumours and speculation that had been circling Jones and Brumbies board in recent weeks.

So how did we get to this point? Here’s a chronology of events to date…

The curly questions from #SuperRugby Round 2

Somewhere, in the middle of this stink, Tolu Latu threw the punch that did this (inset) to Matt Toomua...

Somewhere, in the middle of this stink, Tolu Latu threw the punch that did this (inset) to Matt Toomua. But is a 50% discount too much for him saying, “yep, I did it”?

Rugby News (Australia): You’re a bold punter if you’ve already started writing teams off after two rounds of Super Rugby. With 13 teams with at least one win to their name now, it’s fair to say there’s still a lot of water to go under a lot bridges before we have a clearer picture of who will and won’t contend for the 2016 title.

But that’s not to say that two games aren’t enough to start forming some opinions and raising some queries. And I’ve done that, asking some curly questions on a number of topics, including this one:

Is a 50% discount for accepting a guilty plea too much?