Cheika to shuffle back row

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:14
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INTERVIEW: Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika looks set to experiment with his back row options during the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Cheika often uses two openside flanks in the form of David Pocock and Michael Hooper in his back row, but he won't have the luxury of that next year.

This year's Rugby Championship will be Pocock's last until 2018 as he will be heading on sabbatical during the 2017 season.

With a few new faces in the Wallaby squad like Lopeti Timani, Cheika is set to test a number of back row formations during this year's Rugby Championship.

"It's really about being able to play with both I think, Being able to play with the two opensides in that format and also in a more traditional back row," Cheika told

"We haven't decided.

"There's no advantage to saying we're going to go one way or the other and stick to that.

"I think we like the idea of having to play both ways, having both options."

Cheika said Tomani will bring something different to the team.

"He's a different profile than what we have perhaps in the back row with our other players," he said.

"He's really eager to learn, got an excellent work ethic and he's put a few shots on people at training.

"That never hurt anybody," he added.


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