Wallabies in no hurry to replace axed Larkham

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SYDNEY, April 7, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he is
in no hurry to appoint a new attack coach after Stephen Larkham was axed, and
suggested the team has some cards up their sleeve heading into the World Cup.

Larkham was dumped in early February after disagreements with Cheika over
strategy and game philosophy following a wretched 2018 in which Australia won
just four of their 13 Tests.

Reports last week said Scott Wisemantel, who is working with Eddie Jones at
England, had been targeted as a replacement, but Cheika said those being
considered were “in Australia”.

“There’s no major hurry, we’re not training yet are we?,” he told Fox
Sports on Saturday evening.

“There’s a few things that I want to unfold first and I probably reckon
about May sometime in the lead-up to another camp.

“I’ve got a few people in mind,” he added. “I’m not going to tell you that
because the people don’t know. They’re in Australia.”

Fox said Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson — Cheika’s former New South Wales
assistant — was a potential short-term option for the World Cup, while
Wallabies great Matt Giteau has also been linked to the role.

“The person we bring in will be someone I think that will be with the
players, on field a lot, not build a lot of strategy, more getting players to
embrace strategy and understand it so it’s automatic on the field,” said
Cheika.

The two-time world champions, who made the 2015 final, will head to the
tournament in Japan this year with few giving them much chance after their
poor season last year.

But Cheika suggested the Wallabies could have some surprises in store.

“Maybe you want to turn up this year with something a little bit
different,” he said.

“I’m not saying that we’re going to do that but maybe we will. Some
different things around the way we play.”

One area he could be looking at is whether to start with both Michael
Hooper and David Pocock.

The combination has been a point of contention, with Australia’s lineout
often exposed when both start and Pocock generally plays out of position at
No 8.

“I think this year we’ve certainly got some other options around the
backrow,” Cheika said.

“I think sometimes having (Hooper and Pocock) playing together will be
really useful and sometimes, having one coming off the bench will be really
damaging as well.”

He also has to decide where best to play his versatile backs, particularly
Super Rugby’s record try-scorer Israel Folau — in his usual fullback role or
outside centre.