Wallabies To Announce Michael Cheika As New Coach

New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is set to become the new face of the Wallabies following Ewen McKenzie’s decision to step down from the position last weekend.

Cheika and Australian Rugby Union are ironing out the final details of a three-year deal with the Waratahs that will see the club’s second-year coach return to defend his Super Rugby title in 2015 before leading the Wallabies in September’s World Cup.

The contract is expected to be finalised in the coming days before the Wallabies jet off to Europe for a five-Test tour.

“There’s a few things to iron out obviously, the logistics etcetera. Everything is so close,” Cheika said on Monday.

“We’ll see how it goes and work it out from there.”

The position opened up after McKenzie stepped down from the top job following Saturday night’s 29-28 Bledisloe Cup loss to the All Blacks.

“Who wouldn’t be interested in coaching their country?” Cheika said.

“It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens.”

Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans backed Cheika as the right replacement, saying the 47-year-old was more than qualified to turn around Australia’s recent woes.

“He doesn’t get distracted by the politics and I think that’ll be an asset,” Deans said Tuesday.

“He might have to adapt some of his off-field antics. Cheik’s very much an ambush merchant. His flame burns hot so he’ll get a lift out of the group, he’ll get a response.

“And that’s the nature of World Cup rugby — it is a one-off event and if they come through (their) pool (also featuring England, Wales and Fiji).”

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images


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