Cheika hits back at Jones in scrum row

LONDON • Australia coach Michael Cheika has fired back at Eddie Jones by insisting it is England rather than Australia who scrum illegally.

England coach Jones riled his native Australia by calling for a pre-match meeting with referee Jaco Peyper ahead of Saturday's rugby clash at Twickenham to discuss his concerns about the Wallabies' scrum.

But Cheika said Jones, once his team-mate at Sydney club Randwick, had to get his own house in order after prop Dan Cole was sin-binned for collapsing a scrum during England's 27-14 win at home to Argentina last Saturday.

"The important thing there to note is that he's got to be looking at his own players because they're the ones who have a prop with a yellow card and that same prop's been infringing the law since his career started, probably if not all of this year," Cheika said yesterday.

Cheika, in a thinly-veiled reference to Cole's play during England's 3-0 series win in Australia in June, added: "It's up to the ref whether he gets influenced by that really after the guy's been boring in and falling down all of June in the series we played against them."

He stressed his side scrummed correctly.

He added that Australia props Scott Sio and James Slipper had been undone at the scrum by Cole not because of any technical deficiencies of their own, but rather as a result of the England front-row's illegal tactics.

"In the summer that's what happened to Scotty and James - Cole's experience in that way and turning in and pulling down just got the better of them and they weren't able to deal with it," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2016, with the headline 'Cheika hits back at Jones in scrum row'. Print Edition | Subscribe