Ireland v Australia: Heaslip wary of Cheika's inside track on Irish

Australia's Rob Simmons and Ireland's Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip battles with Rob Simmons in last year's autumn Test in Dublin
Autumn international: Ireland v Australia
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Sat 22 November Kick-off: 16:30 GMT
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Ulster; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Jamie Heaslip says Australia coach Michael Cheika will be hugely motivated to guide his team to victory over Ireland in Saturday's Test in Dublin.

Ireland will go into the game after shocking South Africa but Cheika has plenty of knowledge of the Irish squad from his time in charge of Leinster.

"He knows us very well," said Leinster and Ireland number eight Heaslip.

"There will be absolutely no surprises for him coming here. He will know the weaknesses of individuals."

Cheika's Wallabies opened their European tour with victories over the Barbarians and Wales before slipping to defeat against France last weekend but Heaslip says the Irish will face a huge test at the Aviva Stadium.

The Sydney native's five-season stint at Leinster saw the Irish province finally fulfilling their potential in Europe after years of under-achievement as they landed the Heineken Cup title in 2009 by beating Leicester.

Heaslip is convinced current Ireland Joe Schmidt would not have been able to guide Leinster to two further European Cup titles but for the work done by his predecessor Cheika, 47.

Australia coach Michael Cheika with his former Leinster player Leo Cullen
Australia coach Michael Cheika with his former Leinster player Leo Cullen on Tuesday

"It was great to have Cheiks when I started. He was a back row and I was a back row and he wasn't shy in telling me how I played as a back row," added Heaslip of the renowned tough taskmaster.

"But all that helped. He demanded the best out of players and he definitely reshaped the organisation in Leinster and left it in a good place for Joe [Schmidt] to pick up and bring it on.

"I don't think Joe would have been able to do what he did with Leinster if Cheika hadn't been there."

Despite demanding high standards, Cheika remains a popular figure with his former Leinster players and Heaslip was delighted by the 47-year-old's ascent to the Wallabies coaching position after Ewen McKenzie's high-profile exit last month.

Cheika was handed a three-year contract by the Australian Rugby Union although he will see out the final season of his contract with New South Wales Waratahs in 2015.

"He's a great guy. And it's great to see him in the top job and I know he will be quite proud."

Michael Cheika factfile
1967: Born, 4 March, Sydney, Australia, to Lebanese parents
1987: Plays for Australian U21s
1999: Takes first coaching job as boss of Italian club Padova
2005: After four-year spell with home club Randwick in Australia appointed Leinster coach
2009: Guides Leinster to the club's first Heineken Cup title
2010: Leaves Leinster to become Stade Francais coach
2013: Appointed New South Wales Waratahs coach
2014: Steers the Waratahs to Super 14 title and appointed Australia coach

Cheika's appointment came after McKenzie quit last month after 15 months in charge following disappointing results on the pitch and controversy off it.

McKenzie's resignation came in the midst of a disciplinary issue involving utility back Kurtley Beale, who was later fined £24,600 after being found to have sent an offensive picture message to an Australian Rugby Union female team official.

Wallabies business manager Di Patston quit her post prior to McKenzie's exit but Cheika then opted to hand Beale a late call-up for the Wallabies's last two games in Europe.

Australian fly-half Quade Cooper says that Beale has been welcomed back to the squad with open arms.

"From a team point of view he [Beale] offers a lot, everyone's happy to have him here," said Cooper, who himself has been no stranger to controversies in the past.

In November 2012, Cooper was fined a record Aus$60,000 [£33,000] for describing the Wallabies regime under then-coach Robbie Deans as "toxic".

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