Drew Mitchell told to pull his weight
March 15, 2013
Drew Mitchell says he is taking strides to address unfavourable perceptions © PA Photos
New South Wales Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell was left out of the squad to play the Cheetahs at Allianz Stadium on Friday because coach Michael Cheika believes he is not pulling his weight as a senior player.
Mitchell has been replaced by Peter Betham, while Lachie Turner will make his first start of the year on the opposite flank.
Mitchell said on Thursday in an interview on Fox Sports' Rugby HQ that he did not agree with Cheika's assessment, but "he's made me aware of it this week, it's now something I can address".
Mitchell is already taking steps to ensure his axing is only temporary, saying "I'm under no illusions I'm not playing to best of my ability and to my potential".
"Also I guess being a leader in experience sense, what I need to bring to the group is not just on the field, but off the field as well, and obviously there is a feeling I'm falling short in that regard as well.
"I've had a couple of decisions with Cheik since he told me about the decision, about where I could help around in terms of helping build this belief we spoke about, in changing the mindset about this new game we're trying to bring, and really getting behind each other and assist with that."
"If it's an ongoing thing, I've spoken about this with Cheik and asked that if anything else comes up in the future we speak about it prior to the event rather than after it."
Mitchell said he was "absolutely a believer" in Cheika's new expansive style. "As a winger ... that's what you want to be involved in," he said.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring