Cheika to coach Waratahs
Sydney - Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika
was on Tuesday named as the man to resurrect struggling Super Rugby club the Waratahs after they finished the season in 11th position.
said he was eager to turn around the fortunes of the club that lost
their last eight games of the season and which former coach Michael
Foley left at season's end to join embattled Force.
opportunity to coach the Super Rugby team of my home state and the
responsibility to make all our supporters and all people from NSW proud
of their team is one that motivates me immensely," he said.
"I am really looking forward to being part of this new era in NSW rugby."
chairman Roger Davis said the choice of the 45-year-old Australian as
"an agent of change" was unanimous and Cheika said he wanted to inject
more creativity into the attack.
"My heritage comes from playing
attacking rugby and that's something that I want to do (at the Waratahs)
and I don't think you can win big games without scoring tries," Cheika
Cheika ended his playing career with Randwick in 1999 and
moved into coaching, taking his first position as head coach of Italian
side Petrarca Rugby.
On his return to Australia he guided Randwick
to first and second grade Premiership titles in 2004 before moving
overseas again to steer Leinster to Celtic League success in 2008 and a
Heineken Cup title in 2009.
Until June he was director of rugby with Stade Francais in France.
ruled out a return of former Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom, who was
named captain of the side at the start of the season but was able to
play only two games before injury struck and he was released to seek
Cheika holds Elsom in high regard after his
contribution to the Leinster side, but said the flanker would not be
added to his playing roster.
"I met with Rocky the other day in Europe. I had dinner with him and his family," Cheika told reporters.
think his priority is getting himself fit and healthy so he can get
back to the performance levels that he had a few years back."