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Cheika's selection 'monopoly' hurting Wallabies

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Former Wallabies captain - Cheika's selection inconsistency hurting the side

Former Wallabies captain Andrew Slack believes Michael Cheika has a “monopoly” over picking the team and has called for independent selectors to help the side.

In 2018 the Wallabies have won just three of their 10 Tests and have fallen to a record low seventh in the world rankings.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle discussed the potential benefits of adding an independent selector to the mix.

“I think there’s models around the world that you can see that mix of having a selector, head selector or working with the head coach is working well in international programs around the world,” Castle said on Fox Sports’ Kick & Chase.

“That’s certainly something that we would discuss with him, to see if that’s something that could be helpful to him.

“It’s certainly a model that’s proven to be successful elsewhere.”

Cheika defended his selection process, telling Fox Sports “I’m not just picking numbers out of a hat.”

“I take advice from experienced coaches who have been in the job in the past as well,” he said. “So I’m not just blindly looking… I’m always taking counsel on these things and I think, more often than not, we’re making the right calls.”

Slack — who captained the Wallabies when they last beat the All Blacks at Eden Park in 1986 — feels it is unwise to allow Cheika absolute power over selections.

“Everything in selection and the way you play the game you’ve got to have a balance,” Slack told Fox Sports.

“There’s times when you take ludicrous risks because you’re up against all that, so you’ve got to take risks.

“But by and large, I think the go to thing is to be balanced in your selection and decision making and I’ve said this for a long time about Cheika — and prior to that — the monopoly he has on selection is ridiculous, and they need an independent selector.

“It’s been talked about — nothing’s ever been done about it.”

Slack also noted the effect Cheika’s selection inconsistencies may have on players.

“I think Cheika’s been caught fixed in between who he should pick, what motivations he should use to pick these certain players so ultimately players’ heads are spinning,” he said.

“If I was a player, my head would be spinning unless I was an absolute certainty — a [Israel] Folau or someone — my head would be spinning and I don’t think it’s good for the way you perform if there’s uncertainty.

“The other side of the argument to that is you keep them guessing and it pushes them further — that might occasionally happen.

“But I don’t think it happens for the majority, so by and large I think our selection and Cheika’s selection over recent years has been a mish mash.”

The Wallabies have the week off before they take on Wales in Cardiff on November 11.

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Former Wallabies captain - Cheika's selection inconsistency hurting the side