Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika got in a public spat at a function at the Australian embassy in Tokyo during the World Cup.
Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui intervened to stop an escalating argument between Cheika and Castle in front of guests at the cocktail function, according to a Fairfax report.
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Turinui confirmed the incident to AAP but declined to comment further.
The clash was believed to stem from a disagreement over RA's push to have Wallabies players at the function which was held on the Wednesday night before Australia's crunch pool game against Wales.
Cheika was reportedly reluctant to send any players, with Castle going over the top of the coach to organise with director of rugby Scott Johnson that Wallabies would attend.
Fairfax said tensions boiled over towards the end of the function, which was attended by about 60 people, when Castle tried to thank Cheika for attending with four players.
The pair engaged in a verbal stoush before Turinui stepped in.
After resigning on Sunday, Cheika dropped a bombshell saying that he had almost "no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne)."
Tensions spill over into Folau case
Michael Cheika’s revelation that he has no relationship with CEO Raelene Castle or chairman Cameron Clyne has reportedly “plunged Rugby Australia’s legal case against Israel Folau into chaos.”
Rugby Australia's hellish season lurched again on Sunday when five-year head coach Cheika announced he will quit his post, taking pot shots at Castle and Clyne on his way out.
He said he barely had a relationship with the pair and voiced his displeasure at a change to the Wallabies coaching structure this year, saying he never felt comfortable with new director of rugby Scott Johnson overseeing his role.
And according to leading rugby writer Jamie Pandaram, the revelation of a rift between three of the key parties in Rugby Australia’s case against Folau is very bad news.
Folau is reportedly seeking to exploit a loophole in his termination in an attempt to play Super Rugby next season, after RA stated his sacking wasn’t a restraint of trade because it: “does not prohibit Mr Folau from seeking to secure a new player contract with Rugby Australia and the operator of an Australian Super Rugby team which would enable him to play for the Wallabies and/or an Australian Super Rugby team”.