Under-pressure Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has moved on from attacking England coach Eddie Jones by turning his attentions to another former Randwick teammate: Glen Ella.
Ella told the Daily Mail that Cheika would be having nightmares about losing again to Jones following the 3-0 series whitewash in Australia earlier this year.
He also criticised his reaction to a New Zealand newspaper who portrayed him as a clown on it’s front cover.
But Cheika, who’s been in attack mode all week as the Wallabies build to a huge clash with England, appears to have had enough, especially after dreams of a grand slam were dashed 27-24 by Ireland in Dublin.
Ella was part of Jones’ backroom team during the June series and although he’s no longer part of the England set-up, Cheika didn’t hold back when asked about his comments.
“It’s funny, you know everyone’s up the front of the bus when they’ve had a win, a guy like Glen in particular,” Cheika said.
“He’s always up the front of the bus for a handout when he’s had a win.
“But when it’s tough and you’ve got to run uphill, haven’t seen that bloke or haven’t seen a few of those blokes around.
“I don’t think he’s working with England anymore but any Aussie that would be supporting England against Australia, especially a guy that has played for the Wallabies, there’s got to be a reason why.
“I don’t know if he’s bitter. Maybe they want to get us kicked out and have a job there, I’m not sure.”
After his memorable end to 2015 when he took an unfancied side to the World Cup final, Cheika is facing the first major test of his international coaching tenure.
Defeat at Twickenham would see him end the year with a record of six defeats and nine losses from 15 matches and he admits if he was to be sacked, he couldn’t ever see a day when he would coach against Australia.
“I’m upset about losing at the time of course, yeah, and then you get over it,” he said.
“But for the year as a whole? I think we’ve improved and we’re going well and we’ll stay working on our things and when the bigger tournaments come around we’ll see if that plan worked out or not for both sides.
“If a person decides to do that (coach against Australia), that’s OK.
“No one was saying anything bad when Eddie was coaching Japan. You’ve got to keep that level. It’s your approach to your old team. Each to their own.”
Despite the verbal sparring from the two coaches, Cheika said he respects Jones and said playing the media was all part of the veteran coach’s plan
“He’s just geeing up. I remember when he was coaching Queensland and they were 0-and-13 and they got beaten by 95 in South Africa,” he said.
“There was a bit of grief for a day or two but then no one was pointing the finger at him forever.
“He’s respected for that by me as a former teammate of his and as a player. I think you saw when he was in Australia that he got a lot of respect.”