“Players… they read all that stuff.” Michael Cheika’s admission that the Wallabies get rattled by a bit of social media sledging is as refreshing as it is troubling.
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Newly appointed Australian men’s sevens rugby coach Tim Walsh will go all out to match the success he enjoyed with his world-beating women’s team.
Walsh boasts a World Series winning percentage of 85 per cent, mentoring Australia to the 2015-16 title and 2016 Olympic gold medal and taking them from fifth to first in the rankings.
He will take over from Andy Friend whose contract hasn’t been renewed beyond July, with a handover date set for after next month’s Commonwealth Games.
“The nature of our job is brutal and Andy and I have a good relationship,” Walsh said.
” I spoke to him last night and in the typical and expected way from Andy he was absolutely world class.”
Former Australian sevens player Walsh announced back in January he would vacate the women’s post after next month’s Commonwealth Games.
“We believe he has a considerable amount of proven Sevens expertise and offers a coaching style that can continue the progression made by the men’s program and take performance to the highest level,” Rugby Australia general manager high performance Ben Whitaker said.
Asked if he saw the potential for the current fourth-ranked men’s team to enjoy the same status of the women, Walsh replied: “100 per cent. I wouldn’t be doing the job if I didn’t.
“The coaches before, Friendy particularly, have done an amazing job to set me up and I’m fortunate to be taking over this team from where it is and where it’s come.
“But I plan to emulate the success that the women have had, but the directive is to take the team from where it is and make them a podium team.”
Friend is likely to be offered a new role by RA, one connected to sevens and which could include coach development.
While RA didn’t look beyond Walsh and Friend for the men’s position, Whittaker said there would be an open application process for the women’s job.
He is hoping to announce the successful candidate in six weeks, with John Manenti acting as an interim coach through to the World Cup in July.