Saturday 15 December 2018

Michael Cheika avoids punishment for comments made during Australia loss to England

Australia coach Michael Cheika has escaped punishment for comments made during the Wallabies' 30-6 loss to England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Head coach Cheika was caught on camera sarcastically applauding decisions that went against Australia at the weekend, and saying "f****** cheats" when a possible try was ruled out.

On two occasions he walked down the steps from the coaches' box to the touchline to remonstrate with officials and received abuse from supporters that he described as a ''gobful'' that was ''not pleasant'', at one point resulting in a verbal exchange with a fan.

The Autumn International Disciplinary has been looking at the comments all week but on Thursday announced a warning was sufficient ahead of Australia's weekend clash with Scotland.

"Mr Cheika and the Australian Rugby Union cooperated with the investigation, which has now been completed," a statement read.

"In light of Mr Cheika's explanations of his conduct, his clear understanding of the need to protect and promote the interests of the sport, and his open apology for any offence caused, the Disciplinary Officer for the Autumn Internationals (in consultation with World Rugby) has decided not to pursue any disciplinary proceedings against Mr Cheika.

"The Disciplinary Officer has, however, urged Mr Cheika to be aware of the risks during matches when he knows he will be being filmed and potentially broadcast, and where possible to moderate his conduct and language accordingly. Mr Cheika has accepted the position."

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