Wallabies Boss Michael Cheika Says His Players Do Not Need World Rugby “To Tell Them How To Tackle”


Wallabies boss Michael Cheika has come out with an extraordinary statement in the wake of Reece Hodge’s citing and subsequent ban following a dangerous tackle on Fiji’s Peceli Yato in their opening match at the World Cup.

Hodge was handed a three-week ban this week for the challenge, but Cheika still believes his player did nothing wrong, with Hodge revealing during his disciplinary hearing that he was not aware of World Rugby’s decision-making framework for high tackles.

Cheika also says Australia are considering an appeal against the decision to ban Hodge.

“I want to make a couple of points,” Cheika said, after announcing his team to face Wales.

“The framework is for referees – not the players – to decide whether there are red or yellow cards in a game. The officials are using that framework very well in matches.

“Our players are coached to tackle in the middle. We do not need the framework to tell them how to tackle. I am not sure where that is coming from.

“He (Hodge) is already nervous enough as it is. When people are asking you questions and you have done nothing wrong, you are nervous and may not have answers to all the questions on the tip of your tongue.”

The former Leinster and Waratahs boss added that he does not “care what World Rugby are doing.”

“I do not particularly want to talk about this today because there is a part of it which is us versus everyone else. We know that, and we are not going to let it derail us.” Cheika added

“We will suck it up and get focused on what is important – the match on Sunday. We are not going to let them get to us.

“We have talked about an appeal with the players.

“I am with my players. I am as disappointed, as Reece is, but no obstacle will derail us. I do not care what World Rugby are doing.

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