Wallabies coach Michael Cheika joins Spring Tour fresh from shoulder surgery

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika. Photo / Photosport
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika. Photo / Photosport

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has arrived in camp worse for wear after having shoulder surgery last Friday.

Cheika has joined the rest of the squad, who landed in the UK on Saturday, but even at a small press conference attended by a handful of journalists the rugged boss refused to show his arm in a sling, taking it off before fronting the cameras.

"No visible signs of weakness you know what I mean, grin and bear it," said Cheika, who caught a later flight due to his recovery from the operation.

"I don't know about the quite well bit but the recovery is on the way, that's for sure.

"I have a new empathy for players recovering from reconstructive surgery because it's quite painful. Maybe it is because I am a little bit older. I just deal with it."

Cheika injured his shoulder after an innocuous training mishap with Israel Folau prior to the third Bledisloe Cup Test a fortnight ago.

Both men were walking and looking in opposite directions when they collided, and Cheika fell to the ground landing shoulder first.

"Izzy's still on the tour so he's alright, he didn't get dropped," Cheika said.

"The important thing was that he didn't get injured. The coach can't be injuring the players.

"It was pretty innocuous when it happened on the day. I just rolled over and got straight back up without realising it. It's all good. A bit of rehab and I will be back next year."

Australia starts their grand slam tour with a Test against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday (1.30am Sunday AEST) and while playmaker Bernard Foley has openly said they can become the first Wallabies side since 1984 to complete the Slam, Cheika was more cautious.

"It is very important for players to have dreams and of achieving the bigger picture items," Cheika said.

"I really believe that's important. If you don't have those dreams inside you then what are you doing it for?

"The reality is that in a series like this and a tour like this then it is only the next day that counts. [The Grand Slam] in the background and that will only come to fruition when we are excellent every day.

"A lot of our players who have not toured the northern hemisphere before will learn about what it is like over here as we get into each day, prepare, learn, grow as a team, which is something we have been doing this year through some hardship and some successes.

"If you look too far ahead you will get burnt. Deal with what we have got to do today, get something from it and go from there."

- news.com.au

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