Michael Cheika fulfils pledge, steps down as Wallabies coach

Michael Cheika has confirmed he won't seek re-appointment as Wallabies coach following their failure at the Rugby World Cup.

A day after his team were outclassed 40-16 by England in their quarter-final in Oita, Cheika confirmed he will stand down, ending five years in the role.

Cheika said it was "cruel" that a journalist should ask him about his intentions in the immediate wake of the heavy defeat on Saturday but the following afternoon he conceded the time was right for change.

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Cheika's tenure was marked by a successful 2015 World Cup campaign in which Australia reached the final and a disappointing display at the global tournament in Japan, the respective outcomes marking a gradual decline in the team's overall performances.

The 52-year-old had always said he would stand down if the Wallabies didn't win the tournament.

He has been linked with a coaching role at French club Montpellier.

Michael Cheika has stepped down as coach of the Wallabies, as he said he would if Australia did not win the Rugby World Cup. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images,)


“It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne),” Cheika said.

“I put my chips in earlier in the year I told people, ‘No win, no play.’

“So, I’m the type of man who is always going to back what he says and I knew from the final whistle, but I just wanted to give it that little bit time to cool down, talk to my people and then make it clear.”Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson has already been scoping possible candidates for 2020.

New Zealander Dave Rennie has emerged as a clear favourite because of his success with the Chiefs in Super Rugby and further experience with Scottish club Glasgow Warriors.

Rennie, who also has close ties with Johnson, has previously quashed any link with the Wallabies role, pointing out he had signed an extension with Glasgow that takes him through to the middle of next year.

That hasn't stopped the 55-year-old's name being continually linked with Australia.