Cheika has no interest in war of words with Jones


Wallabies coach Michael Cheika gave little away as he faced the media ahead of the first Test against England in Brisbane, but said he has his starting line-up in mind for Saturday's clash.

The match at Suncorp Stadium will be the first of three Tests against England - coached by Australian Eddie Jones.

And while Jones has been vocal in targeting Australia - ranked second in the world - Cheika said he had no interest in being drawn into a war of words.

"I don't think he's thrown a lot of barbs. He hasn't called me fat or bald or anything," he said with a chuckle.

"It hasn't been nasty. He's just doing what he thinks his team needs. His team might need this obviously.

"It's only normal. We look at it a slightly different way. We're working internally around our mental strength.

"I don't think it's good to fight a war on two fronts. My focus is on our team."

Cheika did not give too much away in regards to who he expected to line up for Australia on Saturday, saying he would be "proud" to play any of the players in his training camp.

One player Cheika refused to rule out was utility back Christian Lealiifano, who is still yet to join the training camp as he awaits the birth of his first child in Canberra with his wife.

"I haven't thought about it like that. The main thing for us is that the baby comes nice and happy and healthy," Cheika said.

"It's a great time of his life, the last thing we're going to do is tell him, 'If you don't make it tomorrow then you're not going to make it.' That's the last thing we want to do.

"We're not going to put that pressure on him. Whatever happens, there's a plan, it will happen and we'll work it out.

"It's pretty simple. You plan for him to be there and you plan for him to not be there and you prepare both ways."

Cheika said Karmichael Hunt had pulled up sore from a running session on Friday but was still a chance for Saturday's game.