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Cheika rubbishes disrespect claim


Cheika hits back at All Blacks after Hansen's Whitelock disrespect claim

Michael Cheika has rubbished Steve Hansen’s claim that Australia showed a lack of respect by snubbing the presentation of Sam Whitelock’s 100th cap after New Zealand’s victory in Sydney.

Whitelock marked his landmark appearance with an outstanding display in the All Blacks’ 38-13 drubbing of the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium last weekend.

New Zealand head coach Hansen said all his players would have stayed out on the field to acknowledge such an achievement, rather than just the few Australians who went over to congratulate the lock.

Yet Cheika hit back by stating: “Well I’ve never seen it before, we certainly wouldn’t be asking to do it on another team’s ground, we’d do it in the dressing room.

“But if that’s what they want to do, I’m sure they did it and congratulations to the player, he’s a fine player, 100 caps is a really, really great effort.

“And same to the lad who is grabbing it this week as well, always respect there.

“To say that we lack respect is a little bit of a stretch from Steve Hansen.”

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Cheika has made four changes to his side for the second Bledisloe Cup Test.

Cheika has made wholesale changes in the front row, with props Tom Robertson and Sekope Kepu both dropping to the bench in favour of Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa respectively.

In the backs, an ankle injury to fullback Israel Folau has forced a re-shuffle, with Dane Haylett-Petty shifting to fullback and Jack Maddocks – who scored on debut last weekend – moving to the right wing.

Cheika has also given rookies Folau Faingaa and Tom Banks the chance to make their international debuts by naming the pair among the reserves.

23-year-old hooker Faingaa has experienced a whirlwind season after only making his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies this year.

Faingaa replaces Tolu Latu and will hope to improve the Wallaby lineout after an abysmal outing last weekend.

Banks was a standout for the Brumbies this season, leading the side with nine tries scored from fullback.


1. Scott Sio, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Lukhan Tui, 7. Michael Hooper (C), 8. David Pocock, 9. Will Genia, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Kurtley Beale, 13. Reece Hodge, 14. Jack Maddocks, 15. Dane Haylett-Petty.

Reserves: 16. Folau Faingaa, 17. Tom Robertson, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Tom Banks.

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Cheika hits back at All Blacks after Hansen's Whitelock disrespect claim