Michael Cheika: 'If that is the way the ARU decide to go,
then they need to come up with some financial security and
assurances.' Photo Getty
The Australian Rugby Union will need to placate Super
Rugby provinces with financial compensation if they go ahead
with their mooted plan of resting key players, according to two
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has floated the idea of rotating
players during the Super Rugby season to limit their
workloads as the ARU seeks to increase communication and
co-operation with the franchises over player development.
NSW mentor Michael Cheika and Brumbies coach Jake White admit
the idea is not without merit but agree Australia's Super
Rugby sides need to be compensated if they are left without
their top players - and each province's bottom line is
Cheika said he was confident in the Waratahs' ability to
manage their players' workloads successfully but was happy to
discuss the proposal.
"If that is the way the ARU decide to go, then they need to
come up with some financial security and assurances," Cheika
"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."
Former South African coach White said the health of Super
Rugby could not be compromised by the ARU.
"We're willing as a franchise to help where we can," he said.
"But at the same time, the ARU are mindful of the fact that
(chief executive) John O'Neill said this time last year that
it is up to the teams to get bums on seats and make sure
their teams win.
"We have to find the balance on both of those."
Cheika has 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 programme 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
"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."