The fallout as head coach announces that he is standing down following World Cup exit
Michael Cheika quits as Wallabies coach
Michael Cheika hit back at reporters when he was asked about his future following Australia’s World Cup exit after a 40-16 defeat by England in the quarter-finals.
He talked about it being “a cruel, cruel world” when such questions are put to a coach so soon after the final whistle, but he didn’t take long to announce that he would be standing down as Wallabies coach after five years. In fact, he did so less than 24 hours after that England loss.
“I got asked the question in the press conference about what’s going to happen going forward and at the time I wasn’t keen to answer,” he said. “I always knew the answer in my head, I just wanted to speak to my wife and tell a few people.”
Related: England 40-16 Australia Match Report
Cheika had previously stated that if the Wallabies did not win the World Cup, he would not extend his contract and he has stuck to his word. He also fired a few parting shots when he confirmed his decision.
“I think it’s no secret that I’ve pretty much got no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne),” Cheika said.
Yet Castle did not comment on the criticism in her statement following Cheika’s announcement. Instead she said: “On behalf of Rugby Australia, I want to thank Michael for his dedication and service to the role of Wallabies head coach since taking up the position in 2014.
“Michael is a passionate and experienced coach who worked tirelessly to get the best out his players. He cares deeply about the Wallabies and the game of rugby, and always set out with the aim of making Wallabies fans proud of the team’s performances.
“Michael came into the role at a turbulent time, and experienced immediate success by taking the Wallabies to a World Cup final after only one year in the job.”
Related: Do Australia need a change in mindset?
Not everyone was so complimentary on hearing the news. Former Australia fly-half Quade Cooper, who hasn’t played Test rugby since 2017, tweeted the following…
As for what the future holds for Cheika, he is undecided, saying: “I’ve never coached as a job, I’ve always coached for thrill, for the pleasure, so I haven’t really thought about what I’m doing next.”
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