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Aussie coach shakes it up for Bok clash


The radical switch will result in the regular pivot Bernard Foley dropping down to the bench

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Coach Michael Cheika says a desire to “shake it up” was behind his decision to name Kurtley Beale at flyhalf for the Wallabies’ must-win clash with the Springboks in Brisbane tomorrow.

The radical switch will result in the regular pivot Bernard Foley dropping down to the bench.

The removal of Foley was the biggest talking point at yesterday’s announcement

“I suppose I just wanted to shake it up a little bit,” Cheika said. “I think we’ve had some good things that have happened in the (recent) games,

“I know that hasn’t been brought out but there have been some good things and I think that Toomua’s return, he’s shown a lot of good things as well around the place and he’s brought some of that on-field as well.

“I just thought I’d try a different combination and give them an opportunity together.”

It’s a move which signals a tactical shake-up of sorts, though Toomua’s game does fit the two-playmaker attacking model the Wallabies have run for the entirety of Cheika’s tenure.

Cheika said Foley had responded to his demotion well.

“We sat down and had a good talk about it. I think he’s showed he’s certainly no dummy-spitter by the way he trained today,” Cheika said.

“He was still up for it, still going to have a big part to play in the game – finishing the game without a doubt. He took it hard but he showed the quality of the person that he is the way he got back on the training paddock today and led the way.”

Asked what he’d conveyed to Foley about the things he’s doing wrong in his game, Cheika said: “It’s not as much doing things wrong as opposed to fulfilling the potential you have.

“He’s not doing anything wrong in particular, but I feel he could be playing better because he’s a quality player and he has shown that for us on many occasions.

“It’s one of the rare times this has happened if not the first time. This is an opportunity for him to get back to focusing a little bit more on himself and not as much on the team and bringing his performance up.”