After five years at the helm, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has resigned his position after Saturday’s quarter-final loss to England.
The 16-40 defeat brought to an end an underwhelming World Cup campaign where the Wallabies never really seemed to find the right form or on-field combinations.
Cheika was initially reluctant to confirm the news in his immediate post-game press conference, despite having previously declared that he would stand down from the role if Australia failed at the World Cup.
However less than 24 hours late Chieka confirmed that he would resign his position.
“I got asked the question in the press conference, you would’ve been there and listening, about what’s going to happen going forward and at the time I wasn’t keen to answer but I always knew the answer in my head, I just wanted to speak to my wife and tell a few people up there about it,” said Cheika on Sunday.
“I put my chips in earlier in the year I told people no win, no play.
“So, I’m the type of man who always going to back what he says and I knew from the final whistle but I just wanted to give it that little bit time to cool down, talk to my people and then make it clear.”
Cheika took over as coach of the Wallabies in 2014 after the shock resignation of previous coach Ewan McKenzie, and guided the Wallabies to a Rugby Championship title and second place at the 2015 Rugby World Cup within his first 12 months in the role.
That would however prove to be the peak of his time as national coach, with a 0-3 series loss to England in 2016 the beginning of four years of patchy and frustrating Wallabies form that has culminated in 2019’s early World Cup exit.
“On behalf of Rugby Australia, I want to thank Michael for his dedication and service to the role of Wallabies Head Coach since taking up the position in 2014,” said Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
“Michael is a passionate and experienced coach who worked tirelessly to get the best out his players. He cares deeply about the Wallabies and the game of rugby, and always set out with the aim of making Wallabies fans proud of the team’s performances.
“Michael came into the role at a turbulent time, and experienced immediate success by taking the Wallabies to a World Cup Final after only one year in the job. He was later given the ultimate recognition for that achievement by being named World Rugby Coach of the Year.
“Now that the Wallabies have exited the tournament, Rugby Australia’s Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson will lead a thorough review of the Rugby World Cup campaign and the 2019 season.
“This is an important process which is undertaken at the completion of each tournament or series and this review will examine all aspects of the Wallabies program, from coaching to physical preparation, player fitness, and skill development.
“As expected at the end of a Rugby World Cup year, there are a handful of senior players leaving the Wallabies program and coaching staff coming off contract ahead of next year.
“There has already been much work completed in preparing for the future in this regard, and that work will also continue until the end of the year.”