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Sack Michael Cheika and his Wallabies staff now, says Australian rugby writer

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One of Australia’s longest serving rugby writers has called for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his staff to be axed immediately.

Cheika and his side head to Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, via a camp on Waiheke Island, under immense pressure after a second half capitulation and 38-13 defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney.

But veteran scribe Greg Growden is adamant Cheika’s time is up and Rugby Australia needs to act immediately, just over a year out from the World Cup in Japan.

A 51 per cent win rate is 'unacceptable' for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, says a leading Australian rugby writer.
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A 51 per cent win rate is ‘unacceptable’ for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, says a leading Australian rugby writer.

“If Rugby Australia is serious about a productive 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign as well as regaining the faith of thousands of disenchanted Wallabies supporters, they must get rid of Cheika, and all of his backup coaching and managerial staff now,” Growden wrote for ESPN.

Wallabies lock says team eager to knock off Eden Park hoodoo against All Blacks
The Wallabies haven’t beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986.

Formerly rugby writer for the Sydney Morning Herald who’s seen a few Wallabies coaches in his time, Growden wrote that the end of the year would be too long to wait to jettison Cheika and his staff which includes former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne.

“They must try to lure Joe Schmidt from Ireland, maybe even entice a Wayne Bennett or Craig Bellamy-like figure across from the rugby league ranks. Anything … because this rot has to stop,” Growden continued on ESPN.

“Drastic action is required because Cheika’s Wallabies are going absolutely nowhere, sending Australian rugby into a frightening nose-dive.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, right, and former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne at training.
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Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, right, and former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne at training.

“Cheika must pay the price for a team whose appalling skill level makes a mockery of the professional footballer tag, and arrogant, holier-than-thou attitude does not warrant any respect from those sick and tired of a pedestrian outfit who constantly makes fools of themselves in the big games.”

Growden observed the Wallabies supporters had clearly had enough, giving Cheika and company the thumbs down sign and banging on the windows of the coaches’ box after the final whistle in Sydney.

Cheika’s coaching record since taking over in November 2014 is an “unacceptable” 25 wins and two draws from 49 tests, a 51 per cent success rate, and the Wallabies sit fifth on the world rankings.

The All Blacks race in to score and Wallabies fullback Israel Folau and his team-mates head for the posts.
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The All Blacks race in to score and Wallabies fullback Israel Folau and his team-mates head for the posts.

“Surely Cheika cannot survive. The players are no longer responding to his ‘fire and brimstone’ manner, an approach which always has a limited lifespan,” Growden wrote.

The Wallabies form a huddle after the final whistle in their heavy Bledisloe Cup defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney.
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The Wallabies form a huddle after the final whistle in their heavy Bledisloe Cup defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t like Cheika’s attitude, but thought he did well with the talent to his disposal. I cannot see anybody else do better before next year.

  2. I did not realise Cheika was only sitting on 51%.

    That’s pretty poor and edging towards Toetie territory.

  3. @Craven:

    Not really enough noise abounds… but lose against the Boks at home and once against the Argies then it might just be a reality… might.

    Quite frankly I think they have left it too long… they’ve been clinging on to his 83% first year with a RWC silver and a win a year against the All Blacks despite some big upsets against the likes of Scotland et al.

  4. @bryce_in_oz:

    Exactly what I am guilty of, I am still thinking of that World Cup and what preceded it.

    Our own mediocre results for the Boks might also have clouded my vision

  5. @Craven:

    Rassie looks like he is heading for that record by the EOY… We have a few tough games coming up… If Rassie is better than 50% by EOY then great! At least we look like we are trying to play some good rugby

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