No one is getting a jersey for free - Cheika explains Koroibete selection

Updated: 

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has defended the decision to include rugby union rookie Marika Koroibete in the Wallabies' Test squad.

Fijian-born winger Koroibete will play for Melbourne Rebels from 2017, having enjoyed success in rugby league with NRL runners-up Melbourne Storm.

Despite the fact he has yet to make his Super Rugby debut, Koroibete was selected for Australia's tour of Europe - a decision that sparked criticism of Cheika from certain quarters.

Yet the Wallabies chief told reporters: "No one's getting a jersey for free - no one has and no one ever will.

"He [Koroibete] is obviously a talent who can contribute for us and make an impact further down the road.

"It'll give me an opportunity to get up and coach him a little bit first so I can have a look at him before he goes back and plays Super Rugby. I think that's a perfectly logical thing to do.

"He's got runs on the board - yes, in another code, but he's grown up playing rugby. It's not like he doesn't know the game.

"I'll look at him at training. He's obviously a fine player and has a profile of out and out speed ... a linebreaker, a guy who's got a bit of X-factor."

Australia face Tests against Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland and England on their European tour, although Koroibete is likely to make his debut in a non-cap fixture against the French Barbarians on November 24.