BRISBANE (Reuters) – Wallabies winger Rob Horne has warned England they need to be wary of set moves from the fertile mind of Australia coach Michael Cheika when the two teams clash in Brisbane on Saturday.
Most of the talk in the run-up to the first of three tests has focused on the expected physicality of the contest with selections in both backlines favoring size over skill.
Horne played both provincial and test rugby under Cheika last season when he combined the Australia and New South Wales Waratahs jobs.
With Cheika having been restricted to just the one role this season and without a match since the World Cup final in October, Horne said it was inevitable that he would be bursting with ideas for his backs.
“Cheik hasn’t had a team for six months so he’s full of beans,” Horne, who has been awarded the vice-captaincy for Saturday’s test, told reporters on Friday.
“He’s had six months to work things out and he’ll have a few things up his sleeve.”
Australia’s 33-13 victory over England at the World Cup last year featured one peach of a switch move off an attacking scrum that led to a try for Bernard Foley.
Backline brilliance might be at a premium at Lang Park if England coach Eddie Jones’s “Bodyline” comments have indeed set the tone for the match but Horne was looking forward to it either way.
“Forwards set the tone for that sort of thing and it’s more of a state of mind for backline unit,” he said. “But there’s nothing better than seeing big men go for it. That’s what forwards are built for.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O’Brien)