Rugby

Cheika named new Oz coach

2014-10-22 07:17
Michael Cheika (Gallo Images)

Sydney - The Australian Rugby Union on Wednesday announced Michael Cheika as the new Wallabies coach ahead of a tough European tour.

"Central to our decision was selecting a world-class coach who can lead us to victory in next year's Rugby World Cup," said ARU chief executive Bill Pulver.

He described the 47-year-old as "the only coach in history to coach both a European Cup winning side and a Super Rugby winning side".

Cheika's track record includes winning the European Cup with Irish side Leinster in 2009 and the Waratahs' maiden Super title earlier this year.

"I am going to have to work hard and learn quickly but I am up for the challenge," said Cheika, appointed following Saturday's surprise resignation of Ewen McKenzie.

"I'll be doing my best, that's the only thing I can guarantee," he added.

"I feel the key to any future success will be to ensure we have a strong identity and not letting anything get in the way of our preparation to succeed on the world stage."

The Wallabies are due to fly to Europe on Friday for a five-match tour, which includes Tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England.

Cheika is still contracted to the Waratahs until the end of 2015 and will retain that position while coaching the Wallabies.

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

Read more on:    wallabies  |  michael cheika  |  rugby
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