Why Wallabies skipper will rediscover form

 

Reds embarrassed by Brumbies

Super Rugby: One to forget for the Reds – a 33-point loss to the Brumbies.

Michael Cheika (L) has backed Stephen Moore (R) to rediscover his form.

UNDER-pressure Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore will rediscover his best form for the Test season, Australian coach Michael Cheika says.

At 34, Moore is under scrutiny following a slow start to the season for Queensland Reds and some question whether he will be capable of holding onto his starting spot as Wallabies hooker by the time the 2019 World Cup starts.

With Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu making a strong start to the Super Rugby season, there is increasing pressure on Moore but Cheika has unflinching belief in his inspirational captain and believes his form dip is typical.

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“Stephen, I would say that in the time I’ve been in the national coaching job, this is a bit of his pattern around the way he prepares,” Cheika said.

“At the end of the day he’s been playing 80 minutes a few games in a row, he’s been very present there, he probably wasn’t expecting to be the captain of Queensland either.

“I would say he knows. If you asked him he’d knows ‘yeah I’ve got to pick my game up’.

“But he’s smart enough to know that, he doesn’t need me coming down there and telling him.

“He knows it himself – as does Kane Douglas.”

Cheika said the World Cup would not be a factor in whether Moore remains Wallabies captain this year.

Michael Cheika (L) has backed Stephen Moore (R) to rediscover his form.

Michael Cheika (L) has backed Stephen Moore (R) to rediscover his form.Source:AFP

“The World Cup captaincy and all that business is not what we’re doing right now,” Cheika said.

“I’ve got an idea of what I want him to do this year.

“And I think Tolu’s had a good year so far, Taf (Tatafu Polota-Nau) has been strong too, we’ve got our eye on a couple of young blokes too for the future.

“So we want to put Moorey in a competitive space with everybody else.

“And I have no doubt he will answer the competitive call, that’s his nature.

“He doesn’t like losing, that guy, and I think you saw it all over his face the other day (after Queensland lost to the Brumbies), that would’ve been hard for him.

“I know he’ll react to that.”