I should have quit Wallabies earlier, says Cheika

Sports | REUTERS 25 May 2020

Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said he should have quit the job in early 2019 after Rugby Australia brought in Scott Johnson as director of rugby and introduced a three-man selection panel.

Cheika stayed in the job until the World Cup in Japan later in the year and quit after the Wallabies were thrashed 40-16 by England in the quarter-finals.

The 53-year-old, however, told Britain's The Times newspaper he should have stood down earlier, because he felt that Rugby Australia's management had lost confidence in him.

"In a footy team there can only be one boss, that's all there is to it," Cheika said. "I should have left because that shows they didn't trust me anymore."

RA appointed Johnson following a review into the Wallabies' 2018 season when they lost nine of their 13 Test matches and there were suggestions Cheika would be sacked.

While he did not agree with the decision to appoint Johnson, Cheika said he had felt he could get the team to perform well enough to clinch their third World Cup title in Japan. "I tried to manage it the best way I could without being out of order," he said. "If you cause turbulence at that point, everyone feels it and I didn't need everyone to feel the turbulence in the team."

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