Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has questioned Eddie Jones' decision to invite Australian league coach Ricky "Sticky" Stuart into the England camp just days before the countries' World Cup quarter-final.
Stuart, a close friend of Cheika, arrived in England's training camp in Miyazaki on Thursday having just guided the Canberra Raiders to the NRL grand final before losing 14-8 to the Sydney Roosters.
Jones, the England head coach, hopes Stuart, a former rugby player, will offer a fresh perspective as they fine-tune their preparations for their last-eight match on Saturday.
Yet, citing his own friendship with England football manager Gareth Southgate, Cheika suggested bringing an outsider into their camp at such a crucial juncture could unsettle the players. "Obviously, they'd be mates, I imagine," Cheika said. "I'm friends with Gareth Southgate and I don't know if I'd be wanting him in here the week that we're playing England.
"It must be weird for the players having an Aussie, because Ricky is a legend. He has played dual-code internationals. Tough man, had a great season with the Raiders, unreal, they played such good footy. It might be a bit weird for them [England]. He is only there for learning stuff."
Cheika mostly kept his powder dry in his discussion of Jones, but could not resist a couple of sly digs at his old adversary, suggesting England got an "early heads-up" on the cancellation of their fixture against France that allowed them to move their training base to Miyazaki. He also made a pointed reference to wishing not to feature in a movie or a book as Jones had done recently.
A detached Cheika also claims to have done no analysis on England, who won all three of the pool matches they were able to play. "Don't really have [an analysis], mate," Cheika said. "Lots of respect but I'm not a big analyser of the opposition. I'm always telling my coaches not to watch the opposition so much. I'm interested in our blokes, our team and our analysis so that it can help us be better."
On his own team, Cheika denied that he had any uncertainty around his first-five selection. Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley all started matches in the No10 shirt during the pool stages. Yet Cheika indicated that was always the plan, with Lealiifano having recently returned to international rugby after a battle with leukaemia.
"Obviously, Christian hasn't played a lot of test footy and he's been building back from quite a serious illness," Cheika said. "I'm not going to throw him in every single minute of every game and say 'go slug it out'."
Defeat against England could end Cheika's reign as Australia head coach yet he says he is not thinking about the future.
"You'd get on well with my missus, she's always asking what's going on tomorrow or next week or the week after and I never tell her because I want to enjoy today. I don't really care about later on."