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Straight-talking Cheika puts 'reunited' Tahs through paces

Tough love … Tahs coach Michael Cheika.

Tough love … Tahs coach Michael Cheika. Photo: Brendan Esposito

MICHAEL CHEIKA had one concern after the Waratahs finished training in Monday's scorching heat: how his voice would last a full season.

There is a long season ahead for the hands-on, no-frills, tough-as-teak NSW coach, who will not mince his words when he puts his charges through their paces.

The players who have trained with him throughout the off-season have already learned that. Those on the Waratahs' roster who were in the touring Wallabies squad were reminded of his style when they rejoined the Tahs for training after their off-season break on Monday a week ahead of schedule.

And if anyone still doubted Cheika's penchant for a traditional straight-in-your-face approach to coaching, they would have been quickly reassured as he stood centre to the Tahs who formed a huddle - after a training session that was scheduled to be 90 minutes ended closer to the two-hour mark - and bellowed with the passion of Spartacus: ''This is where it is at. If you want them to be worried about you, it starts here.''

Of course, other less savoury words were used, but you get the drift - as did many an onlooker on Monday as the word spread: the Tahs are back.

Whether they are really ''back'' - as in, to their best - only time will tell, but if Cheika can't rev up the historically underperforming Waratahs, who can?

Cheika appeared convinced that his non-Wallabies squad have returned from the Christmas break with the sharp mental edge he had left them with. ''The team has come back with a good level of the intensity,'' he said. ''We were a bit scrappy on a few things … but now we are bringing back some of the contact elements. You just have to shake up the memories a little. There has been no hangover from the Christmas pudding, put it that way.''

For those on his books who were touring Wallabies and who showed their eagerness to give up a week of their annual leave to impress him and defend their positions as incumbents in the Waratahs side, Cheika had something special in store as a welcome-back present: hill repeats. Not that those Wallabies - including Berrick Barnes, new recruit Michael Hooper, Drew Mitchell and Benn Robinson - complained as they trotted off.

Cheika must now focus on merging his Wallabies and non-Wallabies, which he hopes to do by the third of their three Super Rugby trial games.

''The [Wallabies] have obviously got credit because they are returning internationals. The other guys have to win the spots,'' Cheika said.

''[But] the opportunities will come for this group of players when they play the first couple of trial matches. The trial matches will probably be more like grand finals for some guys.

''Then we will merge the other guys back in, maybe for the last trial. The opportunity will be given for players to put their hand up and say, 'I really want to be competitive for this spot'.''

Twitter- @rupertguinness

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
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