Eddie Jones going for seventh win over Wallabies
England coach has beaten ex-teammate Cheika's Australia in all their six Tests
England coach Eddie Jones insisted he was "proud" of Australia boss Michael Cheika, as he prepared to face his old team-mate in a World Cup quarter-final tomorrow.
Jones and Cheika played in the same pack at Sydney club side Randwick, before finding greater fame as coaches than they did as forwards who never won a Test cap for Australia between them.
Yesterday, Jones told reporters after naming his side: "We know about Australia, they are a great tournament side. I think 'Cheik' has done a really good job.
"I'm proud of the job he does. He's a good old mate of mine."
At 59, Jones is seven years older than Cheika and was Australia's coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England in Sydney.
And it was thanks to Cheika's Wallabies condemning England to a first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup with a 33-13 win at Twickenham that former Japan coach Jones was appointed to his current job.
Jones sprung a surprise yesterday when he dropped fly-half George Ford to the bench.
Ford has been one of England's leading players at Japan 2019 but Jones moved captain Owen Farrell from inside centre to fly-half, with Henry Slade given his first start of the tournament alongside Manu Tuilagi in midfield.
England have won all six of their Tests against Australia since Jones took charge, but he insisted he still had respect for the Wallabies.
"They are a clever team. They play good rugby, they've improved their scrum and line-out over the last six to 12 months considerably and that makes them more difficult to beat."
Cheika, meanwhile, said he had no doubts at all about Jordan Petaia's ability to rise to the occasion after selecting the teenager to play his first Test at outside centre against England.
The 19-year-old, who made his Test debut in the pool match against Uruguay, replaces James O'Connor to join Samu Kerevi in a centre partnership which will face off against England's reworked midfield of Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade.
Reece Hodge will play outside Petaia on the right wing after being recalled following his three-match ban for a high tackle in Australia's opener against Fiji, bringing with him long-range kicking skills that could be crucial in a tight match.
"I wasn't in a losing position no matter who I picked, I felt," said Cheika. - AFP, REUTERS