Saturday 24 August 2019

'I'm an Australian coaching Australia' - Michael Cheika rules himself out of England job

Michael Cheika
Michael Cheika

England's search for their new head coach was dealt another blow after Australia's highly-rated Michael Cheika ruled himself out of contention.

The Rugby Football Union has begun its search for Stuart Lancaster's successor following the Cumbrian's departure last week but Cheika, who guided the Wallabies into the World Cup final two weeks ago, is not interested in the post.

"No one from England has contacted me and they know that they can't contact me because I'm committed to Australia and that's where I want to be coaching," Cheika said.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie is looking for a coach of "proven international experience", but Cheika's desire to continue at the helm of Australia has thinned an ever-decreasing field that now offers few options.

New Zealand's Steve Hansen, Joe Schmidt of Ireland and Wales boss Warren Gatland have stated they are not interested, as have Graham Henry and Wayne Smith who have compiled outstanding CVs with the All Blacks.

Eddie Jones, the mastermind of Japan's remarkable World Cup victory over South Africa last month, has distanced himself from becoming Lancaster's replacement and to date the only proven international coach to have invited an approach is Jake White.

However, White has not coach a Test team since steering the Springboks to glory at France 2007.

"I'm an Australian coaching Australia, it's like the dream. There's nothing that would make me change my mind," Cheika said.

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"I never thought I'd be coaching Australia. I'm enjoying it and I want to do the best I can in this role for as long as I can.

"You want to make sure that you give everything when you have the opportunity.

"When the chance comes to coach Australia, you don't say no to that. I've enjoyed the first year of doing it, it's been fantastic."

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