After Saracens won the Champions Cup and Premiership double this year, there was a lot of talk about the second row Will Skelton returning to Australia for the World Cup. 


Despite these rumours a few months ago, nothing ever came of it. But Michael Cheika has once again raised the issue and suggested that Skelton could well make the Wallabies cut when the squad is announced later this week. 

He only has 18 Test caps, which would exclude him from being selected under the Giteau Law (requiring 60-caps to be selected from abroad), so either he will need to join a Super Rugby side or exceptions will need to be made. 

The 27-year-old moved from the Waratahs to Saracens two years ago and has experienced a rugby rebirth in London. Skelton always had potential with Australia after making his debut in 2014 at the age of 22, but his main criticism was that he was overweight (at around 24 stone/150kgs) and had a poor work-rate. 

However, since joining Saracens, his game has been revolutionised. He has lost a huge amount of weight, making him far more mobile and productive around the field. 

If anything, the weight loss has given him more power when ball carrying and he can now last 80 minutes. He was instrumental in both the Champions Cup final against Leinster, particularly in defence, as well as the Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs. 


Given the success that former Premiership players have had on this Wallabies side over the past month, particularly Nic White, this may have given Cheika extra motivation to pursue Skelton. 

The reaction, however, to Skelton’s potential return has not been entirely positive from all Australian fans on social media. While some have clearly shown their support for the lock’s comeback, there are those that are more reserved. 

Many fans may still have preconceived ideas about what Skelton can bring and have perhaps not witnessed his exploits in Europe. It is understandable, therefore, why they would not be keen on this move because of his form in 2016 and 2017. 

Furthermore, questions are being asked as to why the Wallabies have waited so long, and that this is just a case of Cheika clutching at straws after a humbling 36-0 loss at the hands of the All Blacks last weekend where they were physically dominated. 


Some fans feel this is the last resort for the coach with only a month to go before the start of the World Cup. This is what has been said: 

It is undeniable that Skelton has developed hugely over the past two years and would probably be somewhere in a matchday 23. But many fans feel this may have been left too late. 

For the first time in a long time, the Wallabies look to have a decent second row partnership with Rory Arnold and Izack Rodda, and some fans question whether Skelton could break that partnership. 

WATCH: Wallaby coach Michael Cheika and captain Michael Hooper after Bledisloe Two

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