Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he’s perplexed by New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen’s suggestion he’s been bullied in the media by England mentor Eddie Jones, slamming the comment as shallow.
Hansen was reported on Sunday, the day after Australia went 2-0 down in the three-Test series, as saying Cheika was letting his old clubmate Jones have a free rein in the media to the point where it looked as if the Wallabies boss was getting bullied.
“I’d be pretty nonplussed about that,” Cheika said on Tuesday.
“I think that’s a really shallow sort of view on what’s really involved in coaching and he knows better than that.
“It’s easy to kick blokes when they are down, so we are down, but we’ll be getting back up, don’t worry about that.”
Cheika said he would have got involved in a media war with Jones if he felt it would have advantaged Australia.
Michael Cheika Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
“If I thought it would have made us play better, yeah I would have got into it,” Cheika said.
“It’s nice to circle around that idea and go ‘yeah that makes a difference,’ but anyone who knows the game will understand it has no bearing whatsoever on the end results.
“I probably haven’t been the most popular character all my life, so I wasn’t used to people liking me anyway.
“If they are not big on the way I’ve taken on the media campaign then that’s their problem. I’ve done what I think is best for the team and I still believe it’s the best for the team.”
Cheika said he wasn’t motivated by anything people said about him in the media.
“It’s just an opportunity to take a potshot,” he said.
“One thing this team has is a lot of humility, when you win and when you lose.”
ESPN.com – RUGBY