Rugby Australia Release Michael Cheika Statement Following All Blacks Hammering
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Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has backed current Wallabies boss Michael Cheika, declaring his job is indeed safe until after next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Australia have been handed two humiliating defeats at the hands of the All Blacks in many weeks, with reports suggesting a couple more bad results against South Africa and Argentina in the Rugby Championship could cost Cheika his job.
Castle has admitted those results were “disappointing”, with Australia losing 38-13 and 40-12 to hand the Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand. But insists Cheika’s job is safe.
“(They were) disappointing performances, no doubt,” Castle told Rugby Australia’s official website.
“And everyone recognises that – that’s not how we want the Wallaby jersey to be perceived at all.
“He is contracted through to the World Cup and he has a plan – we are across that plan and we are comfortable with it.
“But clearly you can’t just ignore the performances – they’re not acceptable.
“So it’s about what we can do to support him as an organisation to make sure he has what he needs to make sure the Wallabies are successful as we move into that World Cup.”
Castle said Cheika still has their full support and they will work to assist him in any way to help turn things around.
“Certainly from our perspective, my support and the board’s support is behind Michael Cheika as we move into the World Cup,” she said.
“We’re also talking to him about where the opportunities are and what support he needs around him in his environment to make sure we see that growth.
“We now go into two Test matches against South Africa and Argentina and that’s a really good opportunity for us to see the Wallabies in a winning environment.”
She also highlighted Australia’s defence as a key area that need addressing.
“There are parts of our game that haven’t performed – particularly around defence,” Castle said.
“So we will be having conversations around that.
“But I don’t think it’s about changing what we’ve got.
“It’s about what else can we bring.
“We’ve got a wide rugby community that have significance on the world stage so we are looking at who we can use that are proud Australians and who can help the Wallabies to make sure they continue to be successful.”