Cheika hails his team's diversity ahead of their fourth final
Australia coach Michael Cheika has heaped praise on his Australian team ahead of their World Cup final clash against New Zealand. The Wallabies will compete against their old foes at Twickenham on Saturday, with the winner being recognised as the most successful nation in the competition’s history, having each triumphed on two previous occasions.
Cheika’s man-management skills have been instrumental over these past 12 months. He inherited a squad in a state of unrest after a rift had opened up between players and management. This weekend the fruits of Australia’s hard work could be rewarded with a third Webb Ellis Cup.
Cheika feels that the Wallabies’ rich political and ethnic diversity has contributed to his team’s success. The squad has many ethnic lineages as different as Zimbabwe, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji and Lebanon; and Cheika believes this mix of personalities is beneficial.
He said: “We have got a team of real diversity. People who have come from different lands and origins, and there are also some very different characters there,
“I won’t say we’ve got anyone on the extreme right in the way we think, but we’ve got the extreme left and centre right. We’ve got the jokers, the lovers, the fighters.
“One of the big things for us has been growing up off the field. I really like to have lots of different characters in teams, people who think differently about everything.”
Captain Stephen Moore echoes his manager’s view and sheds light on some of the team’s biggest personalities and even reveals one of David Pocock’s television favourites.
He said: “Sometimes there is a tendency to want everyone to do the same thing, but Cheika has been very good at allowing us to express ourselves in different ways,”
“Dave (Pocock) is a quality person who adds a lot to our team away from the field.
“Some guys are cutting around on Segways after a game, but he’ll be watching David Attenborough documentaries.
“We have a lot of different characters. Drew Mitchell brings a huge amount to the squad.
“He’s always joking and looking at the lighter side of things and I think that really balances everyone out. There are guys who are pretty serious, me being one of those, and then people like David, who are really different.
“We have different guys who bring different things from all different areas and that’s what makes this team environment special.”