Fri 13 Sep 2019 | 09:37

Put Ashley-Cooper on the wing says Mitchell

Put Ashley-Cooper on the wing says Mitchell
Fri 13 Sep 2019 | 09:37
Put Ashley-Cooper on the wing says Mitchell
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WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: Triple Wallabies World Cup representative Drew Mitchell has called for veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper to start on the wing for Australia at the World Cup.

Ashley-Cooper at 36 and with 119 Test appearances, is both the oldest and most capped player in the squad for the tournament starting in Japan next Friday.

He will become just the second Australian after scrumhalf George Gregan to play at four World Cups.

Famed utility Ashley-Cooper’s only Test start of 2019 was at outside centre against Samoa last week, though most of his appearances over the last six years were as a wing.

Mitchell, who started on the opposite wing to Ashley Cooper in the 2015 World Cup Final, wants to see him picked in the run-on side ahead of Dane Haylett-Petty and Reece Hodge, both of who have had multiple wing starts this season.

“He’s got more experience as a wing than what Dane and Reece Hodge have and also, I just think his experience in defence is going to be crucial, his voice,” Mitchell said at said at Kayo’s Rugby World Cup 2019 launch.

“Everyone that has played inside and outside him get a lot of comfort from his voice at defensive time and then also his pressure in the wide breakdowns is really strong as well.

“He’s good under the high ball, he’s got a good kicking game, so I’d actually go with Adam.”

Mitchell said Marika Koroibete was a lock on the other wing as was Samu Kerevi at inside centre.

He thought coach Michael Cheika might opt for a halves combination of Nic White and Bernard Foley, even though that pairing have started just one Test together this year.

Without Israel Folau, Mitchell felt Kurtley Beale had established himself as Australia’s biggest fullback threat and gave the Wallabies a potential fourth playmaker alongside the halves and James O’Connor, who he expected to start at outside centre.

Mitchell predicted the tournament would be dominated by Southern Hemisphere nations.

“I think the conditions, the heat, the firmness of the fields, will lend itself to the teams that like to play that way,” Mitchell said.

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Put Ashley-cooper On The Wing Says Mitchell - Australia | Rugby365