Cheika agrees to coach Oz

2014-10-20 07:48
Michael Cheika (AFP)

Sydney - Super Rugby-winning coach Michael Cheika has agreed to take charge of the Wallabies after the shock resignation of Ewen McKenzie and is negotiating the details, a report said on Monday.

McKenzie dropped his bombshell shortly after New Zealand narrowly beat Australia 29-28 in the final Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane on Saturday, throwing their upcoming European tour into chaos.

The Australian newspaper, citing an "informed source", said online that Cheika met Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver on Sunday and again Monday and "had agreed to take the Wallabies job".

The ARU had no immediate comment but in a series of tweets on their official Twitter feed the Wallabies said discussions were ongoing.

"The #ARU is still in the process of investigating options to replace Ewen McKenzie, following his resignation last Saturday," it said. 

"At this stage, no prospective coaches have been confirmed in the role. We hope to have a solution in place and announced before the team leaves for the Spring Tour on Friday."

Pulver said on Sunday he had a list of options in mind but had yet to speak to any of the potential candidates despite urgency surrounding a decision, with the squad due to leave for Europe this week.

As well as Cheika, whose track record includes winning the Heineken Cup with Irish side Leinster and the NSW Waratahs' maiden Super title earlier this year, Springbok World Cup-winning mentor Jake White has also been linked to the job.

Pulver said that if it proved impossible to appoint a new coach in time for the five-match tour in Europe against the Barbarians, Wales, France, Ireland and England, then an interim coach would be considered.

Wallabies great Stephen Larkham has been touted in local media as a potential interim choice should it prove too hard to get someone on board full-time at such short notice.

"At this point, I don't even know who can get on a plane on Friday. So next step for the rest of this day is trying to understand where we sit in terms of the options we've got and trying to make some progress," Pulver said on Sunday.

McKenzie's unexpected exit added to the turmoil engulfing Australian rugby in the fallout over the Kurtley Beale text scandal.

Beale has been suspended following an in-flight argument with team business manager Di Patston and claims that he sent offensive text messages about her. Patston, who was appointed by McKenzie, has since quit.

Pulver blamed sections of the media for assassinating McKenzie's character in the extraordinary fallout from the Beale-Patston scandal, but Wallabies great Nick Farr-Jones said Monday he must also accept some responsibility for the mess.

"If Bill had've had it all over again, they would've done ... the Beale incident differently. I think they would've settled it offshore, kept it out of the headlines," he said on Channel Nine television.

"The last thing we in rugby - with football going so well, with rugby league going so well - the last thing we want on the headlines is intrigue and basically being pulled through the gutters."

Read more on:    wallabies  |  michael cheika  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.