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Thread: Cheika, Beale on board if AAC makes Australian return

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Cheika, Beale on board if AAC makes Australian return

    Yesterday at 5:25 PM The Rugby Championship
    by Sam Phillips

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will not offer returning veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper any guarantees regarding a fourth World Cup berth should he land at the Waratahs next season.

    Ashley-Cooper's management have explored all Australian Super Rugby avenues in an attempt to finish his career on home soil and the Waratahs shape as the likely destination.

    The 34-year-old last played Test rugby in August 2016 but that will count for nothing if his Super Rugby form is strong next season, according to Cheika.

    Ashley-Cooper is currently playing in Japan for Kobe but his contract expires early next year.

    Like Cheika, the Waratahs are open to the idea of bringing Ashley-Cooper back as an experienced mentor, but it'd likely be on a bargain-basement contract.

    "He spoke to me about the idea of coming back," Cheika said in Wallabies camp.

    "I didnít have to say anything because he took the words out my mouth.

    "He said 'Iím not looking for any favours or entrees or anything. I want to come back through Super Rugby, prove myself that Iím good enough to take the spot.'"

    "If he plays good enough in Super Rugby, heíll get an opportunity I imagine like any other player."

    The 116-cap Wallaby is keen to take a shot at joining George Gregan and play at a fourth Rugby World Cup.

    Knowing the historical value of experience at the tournament, Cheika is open to the prospect but he said there was no guarantee on the table and that Ashley-Cooper wouldn't desire such a promise anyway.

    "Thereís no accords, no guarantees Ė and he doesnít want it that way," he said.

    "If he comes back heíll want to earn it himself and thatís the quality of the man, thatís what Ashley-Cooper is about.

    "I liked him as a player a lot.

    "Heís done a lot for me, Iíve built a good relationship with him on and off the field.

    "I havenít spoken to him a lot since heís been away but if he makes a decisionÖ itís funny what players can do when they set themselves a serious goal and they go after it."

    Wallabies flyhalf Kurtley Beale was on the same page as his coach.

    Ashley-Cooper was an integral part of the Waratahs' triumphant Super Rugby campaign alongside Beale in 2014 and featured prominently in the 2015 World Cup in which Beale served as a super sub.

    "If thatís the chat and if heís putting himself in the position to be able to make a comeback, I think he wouldnít be coming back for the sake of it," Beale said.

    "He certainly wants to come back and prove a point and achieve a lot more for himself in the game. I think itíll be a great addition."

    Beale pointed to Ashley-Cooper's 116 Test caps as an invaluable source of experience for a Wallabies side with plenty of fresh faces.

    "A quality of his will definitely influence a lot of the younger guys in the group and certainly help a lot of the direction in which way we want to go," he said.

    "Heís a great guy, one of the great players but a super lad off the field as well."

    You won't read it in this story from HQ or any other from an ES journo, but Drew Mitchell (who is VERY close to AAC) said on Fox last night that AAC was keen to return weather that be through Super Rugby OR World Series Ruby. If WSR was not even in the equation and Waratahs (or any SR Team) was a done deal, he would not even had mentioned WSR, no way they are going to give us any free press and we know that Western Force players ARE eligible, so I think there is plenty to read into that statement by Drew last night. A bit of smoke and fire for mine.

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  2. #2
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    It's also interesting that there has been a flurry of contract stories today.

    I think this is a big push by RA to overwhelm some upcoming news about WSR.

    I hope

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    C'mon the

  3. #3
    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    On Kick and Chase last night AAC's good mate Drew the fool Mitchell said he had spoken to AAC and AAC was trying to get back to Australia and it will be either via a SR team or WSR. From the horses mouth.

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