Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is comforted by coach Michael Cheika after the second Bledisloe Cup Test at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday. Picture: Peter Meecham/AAP
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is comforted by coach Michael Cheika after the second Bledisloe Cup Test at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday. Picture: Peter Meecham/AAP

Dwyer absolves Cheika, blames Wallabies' fitness levels

BOB Dwyer, the man who coached Australia to its first Rugby World Cup win in 1991, has taken aim at the Wallabies' poor fitness levels while absolving under-pressure boss Michael Cheika of the blame for back-to-back Bledisloe Cup batterings.

Dwyer made the comments in an interview with the following the Wallabies' twin losses to the All Blacks - 38-13 in Sydney then 40-12 in Auckland.

"I'm sure they're not fit enough," Dwyer said.

"In Sydney there were people walking with half an hour to go.

"You can't really pin that on the Wallaby coaching set-up.

"I thought the comments before the Test misled us all a bit.

"We were getting comments out of the Wallaby camp that fitness had definitely improved and skill level had improved.

"Well, that didn't appear to be the case."

Cheika was adamant that the Wallabies' fitness levels had improved after implementing a more collaborative plan with Super Rugby clubs.

The coach is now under huge pressure to deliver a win in Australia's next Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Brisbane on September 8.

But Dwyer - who is a friend and mentor of fellow Randwick man Cheika - said calls for the coach's sacking were "misplaced."

"My opinion is he is the coach and that's that," Dwyer said.

"It wasn't too long ago when he was being hailed as a saviour.

"He can't have gone backwards I wouldn't have thought."

- Fox Sports


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