A fired-up Michael Cheika has told Eddie Jones to worry about England prop Dan Cole’s scrummaging technique instead of questioning his Wallabies pack.
Former Australia coach Jones lit the touch paper ahead of Saturday’s Test at Twickenham (Sunday 0130 AEDT), by declaring he’ll meet match referee Jaco Peyper this week to discuss some issues he has with the Australian forwards.
But Cheika, who Jones has invited to join him at the meeting, said his former Randwick teammate only needs to look at Cole if he wants to see a player whose technique is illegal.
The Leicester prop was sin-binned in England’s win over Argentina on Saturday for collapsing a scrum and was accused of foul play by another former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer during the 3-0 series loss in June – a claim reiterated by Cheika on Monday.
“I think the important thing to note is that he’s got to be looking at his own players,” Cheika said in London.
“They’re the ones who have got the penalty try (sic) against them and a prop with a yellow card
“That same prop’s been infringing the law since his career started … if not all of this year.”
Cheika quipped that Jones, who’s yet to taste defeat in his 13 matches in charge, is taking his success to new levels by summoning him to a meeting with Peyper.
He also believes such interactions with match officials are a ploy to try and influence opinion and should be outlawed.
“He’s running IRB now, organising the meetings for the refs and for Australian teams,” Cheika said.
“If he thinks that the refs are that naive to take the strategy ‘well if he has a go at our scrum they’ll forget about his guy,’ well that’s up to the ref.
“The guy’s (Cole) been boring in and falling down all of June … when we played against them and that’s his tactic.
“If he (Jones) thinks that me saying something back about it is going to change the referees’ mind … well that’s totally up to the ref.
“I don’t think the ref should be influenced like that anyway.”
Cheika said since former Pumas front-row great Mario Ledesma joined his staff in 2015 there’s been nothing about the scrum to concern him and during the Test series in Australia Cole pulled the wool over the eyes of the referees.
“We’ve got an Argentinian scrum coach and all we do is scrum square and try to get as much weight as possible,” he said.
“It’s very obvious from the clips. If you wanted to watch them instead of all the vitriol that goes around, if you really look at the clips properly they’ll tell you the story.
“That’s what happened to Scotty (Sio) and James (Slipper). Cole’s experience in turning in and pulling down just got the better of them and they weren’t able to deal with it.”
Despite the early war-of-words between the two former Galloping Greens, Cheika said it would have no affect on what happens on the field and they’ll remain friends.