Cheika laughs off Jones’ conspiracy claims

Michael Cheika has laughed off England coach Eddie Jones’ claim Australian rugby is behind a campaign to disrupt the tourists before their three-Test series.

Former Wallabies mentor Jones and the English team landed in Brisbane on Thursday morning before the opening clash at Suncorp Stadium on June 11.

No sooner had the mischievous Jones stepped off the plane than he was back stirring the pot, claiming customs officials had targeted his bag for inspection and journalists were also part of the ARU-orchestrated conspiracy.

A grinning Cheika dismissed the claim, but said Jones was doing a great job drumming up interest for the series, which is likely to be played in front of sold-out Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney crowds.

“I’m hard up organising ourselves let alone anybody else,” Cheika told reporters on Friday.

“Think he’s having a bit of fun.

“The interest in the series is really good and we’ll be doing our best to make sure the match lives up to the interest.”

The mere involvement of the outspoken Jones, who became England boss following their disastrous exit at 2015’s World Cup, has added plenty of spice to the build-up for the series between the rival nations.

But Cheika continues to play a straight bat, refusing to take his former teammate’s bait, even when Jones told The Australian this week that catching up for a beer wasn’t on the agenda.

“He’s got his thing to do so he’ll be pretty busy there, getting set up for camp, coming over from England and getting that sorted out,” Cheika said.

“It’s a big deal so I can understand that he’s going to be focused on his crew.

“I’m sure were going to get the chance to catch up through the series.”

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