Michael Cheika Fires Back At Neil Francis Over Ridiculous David Pocock Comments
Choose your words carefully.
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has fired back at former Ireland international David Pocock after he branded the Australian back-row a ‘cancer on the game’ in an article published earlier this week.
Francis wrote the article, published on Independent.ie, following Ireland’s defeat to the Wallabies, in response to Pocock’s ‘illegal turnovers’.
He stated he admires Pocock and his abilities, but questioned the legality of some of his work at the breakdown.
“I think David Pocock is a cancer on the game,” wrote Francis.
“Yes, I do have grudging admiration for all his abilities and it is great when you have a player like that in your side… he had six legal turnovers and three illegal turnovers, and he and his buddy Michael Hooper managed to slow the ball down more than enough to stop any rhythm that Ireland looked like they were beginning to achieve. You have to make special preparations to counter Pocock.”
Cheika was asked about the comments by an Australian journalist, and he was far from happy.
“That guy needs to choose his words a little better I think, to be honest,” said Cheika of Francis.
“It’s not a very nice thing to say.
“I’m not worried about what he thinks about Poey’s footy, I just think that’s not a very nice term to use. There’s people who are really sick out there, I’m not into that.
“He used to say a lot of stuff about us when I coached Leinster as well, some unflattering words he would use for his own publicity. That’s fine.”
Francis and Cheika have a bit of history, with the former player branding Cheika’s Leinster ‘Ladyboys’ when he was in charge of the Irish province.