Cheika's message for Deans: no play with pay
Date: November 8 2012
SYDNEY: Coach Michael Cheika says the NSW Waratahs need to be compensated financially if the Australian Rugby Union want him to rest his international players during the Super Rugby season.
National team coach Robbie Deans suggested this week the game's elite players would have to be rotated during the Super Rugby season to avoid a repeat of the Wallabies' horror injury list this year.
Cheika said he was confident in the Waratahs' ability to manage their players' workloads successfully, but was happy to discuss the proposal.
However, he expressed surprise Deans had floated the idea in the media on the tour to Europe instead of at a meeting last week between the Australian Super Rugby franchises and the governing body.
"If that is the way the ARU decide to go, then they need to come up with some financial security and assurances," Cheika told AAP on Thursday.
"I am the coach of this province and I will do whatever it takes for this province to be successful.
"I understand that everyone is looking after their own kind but, at the end of the day, if this province is successful, that will help Australia be successful.
"The thing that surprises me a little bit is only the week before, we had a high performance meeting with all the states and all the provinces and this thing wasn't brought up at all and, the next week, it is in the papers.
"It's not the best way for me to find out about it."
If NSW's top players were rested by the ARU during the Super Rugby season, it could adversely affect on-field performance and ticket sales and, subsequently, the Waratahs' bottom line.
Cheika has had experience with a similar system of resting and rotating players while coaching Irish province Leinster.
He encouraged a system of increased communication and trust between all of Australia's Super Rugby sides and the governing body over player workloads.
"Anyone running a professional program is managing their players," Cheika said.
"I have already got a 12-month block set up for my players as to what they have been doing for the last 12 months and where they are going for the next 12 months and anyone not doing that is naive.
"There needs to be that trust between the provinces and the ARU.
"Participate or dictate, that is the choice they will take as a governing body.
"I'm a 'newbie' - maybe they don't trust me. I just have to get the runs on the board."