Infotainment Factory: Cheika stripped of power in Wallabies shake-up

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cheika stripped of power in Wallabies shake-up


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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been spared the axe as Rugby Australia settled on a new coaching structure to lead the team to next year's World Cup, with a Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, hired to oversee the set-up.

The new position strips Cheika of power, with the coach to report into Johnson, who has held a similar position for the past five years with Scotland.

Rugby Australia also announced a revamped selection panel, comprising of Johnson, Cheika and a third independent selector.

The changes come following a review of Australia's high performance set-up triggered by a dismal calendar year that saw the Wallabies sink to sixth in the rankings after winning just four of their 14 games.

While Cheika survived the intense scrutiny amid calls for his head, one or more of his assistant coaches may not be so lucky, with reports suggesting attack coach Stephen Larkham would be sacked.

RA said the assistant coaches to work under Johnson and Cheika would be announced in the coming days.

Announcing the changes at a press conference on Monday, RA chief executive Raelene Castle said she was confident the appointment of Johnson would give the Wallabies the best chance of success at next year's World Cup.

"Scott has previous experience within the Wallabies coaching environment and in this new role will assume responsibility for the management of the Wallabies’ off-field program to allow Michael Cheika to focus on what he does best, which is coaching the team," Castle said.

"We are confident Michael is the right man to lead the Wallabies to the World Cup and the appointment of Scott Johnson will support Michael and his coaching team as they prepare for the tournament in Japan next September."

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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been spared the axe as Rugby Australia settled on a new coaching structure to lead the team to next year's World Cup, with a Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, hired to oversee the set-up.

The new position strips Cheika of power, with the coach to report into Johnson, who has held a similar position for the past five years with Scotland.

Rugby Australia also announced a revamped selection panel, comprising of Johnson, Cheika and a third independent selector.

The changes come following a review of Australia's high performance set-up triggered by a dismal calendar year that saw the Wallabies sink to sixth in the rankings after winning just four of their 14 games.

While Cheika survived the intense scrutiny amid calls for his head, one or more of his assistant coaches may not be so lucky, with reports suggesting attack coach Stephen Larkham would be sacked.

RA said the assistant coaches to work under Johnson and Cheika would be announced in the coming days.

Announcing the changes at a press conference on Monday, RA chief executive Raelene Castle said she was confident the appointment of Johnson would give the Wallabies the best chance of success at next year's World Cup.

"Scott has previous experience within the Wallabies coaching environment and in this new role will assume responsibility for the management of the Wallabies’ off-field program to allow Michael Cheika to focus on what he does best, which is coaching the team," Castle said.

"We are confident Michael is the right man to lead the Wallabies to the World Cup and the appointment of Scott Johnson will support Michael and his coaching team as they prepare for the tournament in Japan next September."

MORE TO FOLLOW

 

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