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Australia coach Cheika receives a warning over 'cheat' claim against England


By Robert jones

Australia coach Michael Cheika has escaped punishment for comments made during the Wallabies' 30-6 loss to England at Twickenham last Saturday.

Head coach Cheika was caught on camera sarcastically applauding decisions that went against Australia, and saying "f****** cheats" when a possible try was ruled out.

On two occasions he walked down the steps from the coaches' box to the touchline to remonstrate with officials and received abuse from supporters that he described as a "gobful'' that was "not pleasant'', at one point resulting in a verbal exchange with a fan.

The Autumn International Disciplinary has been looking at the comments all week, but yesterday announced a warning was sufficient ahead of Australia's weekend clash with Scotland.

"In light of Mr Cheika's explanations of his conduct, his clear understanding of the need to protect and promote the interests of the sport, and his open apology for any offence caused, the Disciplinary Officer for the Autumn Internationals (in consultation with World Rugby) has decided not to pursue any disciplinary proceedings against Mr Cheika," a statement read.

Dylan Hartley will remain England captain for the Six Nations despite being dropped from the England side that will take on Samoa tomorrow - as long as he avoids any more ill-discipline.

Jones has decided that the time is right to hand Jamie George his first England start - despite becoming the British and Irish Lions' first-choice hooker in the summer - which will end his world record streak of 19 consecutive Test appearances without a start.

That means dropping Hartley, and at 31 years old it will come as a firm reminder that his place in the England side is not granted.

New Zealand captain Kieran Read will miss the All Blacks' clash against Wales in Cardiff.

The number eight, who has won more than 100 caps, is sidelined with a back injury.

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