We want them to play for Australia: Michael Cheika on Lebanon stars

Mitchell Moses Michael Cheika

Lebanon head coach Michael Cheika insists he would be delighted to see his star players earn a call-up to Australia on the international scene in the future. 

Cheika’s squad feature several NRL stars, including Parramatta Eels half-back Mitchell Moses and Wests Tigers utility Adam Doueihi.

The Cedars secured their spot in the quarter-finals of the men’s World Cup following their emphatic 74-12 victory over Jamaica at the Leigh Sports Village.

Lebanon will face Australia on Friday night in Huddersfield, the first fixture of the quarter-finals. And Cheika hopes to see his current players represent their opposition in the future, with Moses previously admitting his desire to represent the Kangaroos one day.

“The irony is guys like Adam and Mitch, they are pressing to play for Australia and we want them to,” the dual-international coach said.

“I want them to play for Australia because that means they are playing at the highest level possible. We love it when they’re playing with us. But we understand our place in what’s happening.

“It’s a weird scenario when you are playing against a team but you are really pushing to be a part of that team one day as well. We want the same for any of our guys, to make the NRL dream come true or the international dream come true, or Origin or whatever that may be.

“It is all a bit weird I suppose. But at the same time it is really nice and a great challenge for everyone.”

Michael Cheika believes in Lebanon side

Cheika will lead Lebanon on Friday night before taking charge of Argentina’s national rugby union side on Sunday for their clash against England.

And the dual-international believes the side with his first duties could cause an upset at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“You don’t play footy if you don’t (believe),” Cheika said. “We’ve got to prepare. It’s quite logical that nobody expects us to win. We understand that and we wouldn’t feel like a victim, that’s quite logical.

“But our job is to try and defy the logic and get ourselves in the situation where we can apply some pressure and see what happens.

“Obviously a lot of the lads are from Australia. It’s a great match up for them. It’s a real challenge that a lot of the players will want to go and meet head on.

“We understand we’re the underdogs. That’s pretty clear.

“I suppose you can use a little bit of it in your prep but I think the balance is getting some of that along with some of the tactical and technical we need to control the best team in the competition so far, along with England.”

More World Cup content

Doing it properly: Michael Cheika to juggle Lebanon and Argentina roles this weekend

Adam Doueihi: The World Cup set up my NRL career and it can for others

RLWC2021 – Australia v Lebanon: Team news, how to watch on TV & predictions

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About Josh McAllister 2126 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

1 Comment

  1. This is precisely why there aren’t enough international fixtures. All the Aussies who play for all the other teams in the world will get selected for the Aussie squad as soon as they show some talent. That kills off everyone’s chances of being competitive. The exceptions, maybe England (but that may change) and the Canadians.Everyone else has at least one third Australians.
    As they and the English select their squads from two teams, those teams can’t play league games whilst their players are away. So no internationals. The Aussies used to come here on tour and we went there on tour. Played against club teams as well as internationals. Now the poor babies need an international break and then complain they play too many games. So, no internationals.
    Also, until we stop the influx of Aussie new rules, the rest of the world don’t understand them and don’t play be them, the game won’t progress as everyone else plays catch-up. Captain’s challenges and ball stealing just make a mockery of the game.
    One ref, two linesmen. That’s all we need. No ingoal judges, no match reviews, no pissing about. If three men can’t see a foul play or punish someone for said foul play, then it wasn’t a foul.
    You’ve changed the game to the point that it’s close to being lost. Hells teeth, it’s becoming a game with no physical contact lest you get banned the week after. More Aussie crap. Stop it Now!

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