TOUGH GIG: Michael Cheika has been  criticised for picking a league convert for the Wallabies Spring tour.
TOUGH GIG: Michael Cheika has been criticised for picking a league convert for the Wallabies Spring tour. DAVE HUNT

It is so tough at the top

SHORT PASS: Honestly, if someone approached me today and offered me $600,000 to coach the Wallabies, the answer would be a firm no.

It seems as though current coach Michael Cheika cannot take a trick at the moment, coming under fire for selecting Melbourne Storm league convert Marika Koroibete for the Wallabies Spring tour.

The uproar started when rumours circulated Koroibete could possibly make his test debut before playing a super rugby game, thus eclipsing up-and-comer Luke Morahan.

Koroibete, you may remember, is one of the few feel-good stories to come out of the NRL in the past couple of years.

One of the best wingers in the game, his try-scoring prowess was matched by none and when his ability started to outrun his paycheque he, of course, looked outside the game, hence his move to rugby union.

I have said it before, but it is instances like this when the NRL must address the salary cap issue.

My firm belief is if players were on a free and open market and clubs could pay whatever they thought a particular player was worth, the game would not have the problem it is faced with now.

Players swapping and changing codes left, right and centre, player agents being investigated and Crime and Corruption Commission complaints are mixed in with a host of other issues detracting from the game.

On a side note, players that are defecting from league to other sports are also coming under fire.

We all know how Jarryd Hayne's stint in the NFL went and now Cheika has been criticised for devaluing the Wallabies jersey by picking an untried winger.

I understand some of the flak is created by the media, but if you look to other sport with a free market, you can see that although they may change teams, they do not change codes.

Put simply, you would not see the most elite NFL defensive ends, line up for the Brisbane Broncos.

They are not going to give up a several million-dollar-per-year contract just because someone said they might be good at another sport.

The same has to apply to rugby league.

As for Cheika, he is entitled to pick whoever he chooses.

Gympie Times


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