Sport: Wallabies respond to Quade's Cheika 'potshot' - - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport Wallabies respond to Quade's Cheika 'potshot'

07:10  22 october  2019
07:10  22 october  2019 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Wallabies' stars David Pocock and Michael Hooper have expressed disappointment over Quade Cooper's criticism of departed coach Michael Cheika, as the Australian side returned home from the World Cup.

David Pocock wearing a suit and tie: Pocock addresses reporters.© Getty Pocock addresses reporters. Cheika has copped a tonne of criticism after the Wallabies were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by England at the quarter-final stage. The tension escalated when he revealed he barely had a relationship with CEO Raelene Castle and chairman Cameron Clyne.

Cooper tweeted about Cheika after he resigned, writing: "If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago".

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Addressing reporters at Sydney airport on Tuesday morning, Pocock defended his former coach while doing his best not to attack Cooper.

"As players we always find it disappointing when people on the outside are taking potshots, because there's a huge amount of work that's gone in and Cheik's the kind of guy who goes in to bat for his players.

"Behind the scenes, he's always wanting guys to be able to just focus on their rugby.

"You can't please everyone. Everyone's got different opinions — I've got a huge amount of time for Quade, we go way back.

"People are going to say what they want, especially when you fall short like we did.

"There's no excuses, we've just got to cop it on the chin, we weren't good enough on the night."

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper didn't seem to be too impressed by Cooper's comments.

Cheika's Wallabies disappointed: Castle

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The Wallabies returned to Australia accepting they just weren’t good enough after their humbling Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit.

Michael Hooper wearing a suit and tie: Hooper bristled at questions about Cheika.© Getty Hooper bristled at questions about Cheika.

"Not giving it any air," Hooper said.

"Me personally, Cheik's been amazing for me. I owe that man a lot," he added.

"The passion that he represented us, stood up for us all the time and just genuinely wanted the best for Australian rugby.

"Not just the team, not just for him being the coach of the team, but what's best for Australian rugby after he's long gone, to leave something that's positive."

Neither Hooper or Pocock, who has retired from international rugby, would be drawn on who should replace Cheika.

Two-time Super Rugby-winning coach Dave Rennie is the frontrunner, with fellow New Zealander Jamie Joseph, former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones - who remains contracted with England for two more years - and ex-assistant coach Stephen Larkham have also been mentioned as possible candidates.

-with AAP

Cheika reveals heartbreaking bond with Wallabies .
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has bid an emotional goodbye, revealing a special bond with two players.Cheika's own father, Joseph, passed away nearly 18 years ago. Cheika Senior arrived in Australia from Lebanon at age 20, penniless, and built a life and family for himself.

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