Cheika takes charge of Waratahs

Tue, 18 Sep 2012 07:07
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Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has been appointed as coach of the Waratahs and tasked with resurrecting the battling franchise's fortunes.

Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has been appointed as coach of the Waratahs and tasked with resurrecting the battling franchise's fortunes.

The Sydney-based Super Rugby side struggled under the guidance of Michael Foley last season and lost their last eight games to finish in 11th position, so Cheika will have a tough task on his hands if he is to restore them to their former glory.

Cheika said he welcomes the challenge of building a legacy for the future in New South Wales.

"The opportunity to coach the Super Rugby team of my home state and the responsibility to make all our supporters and all people from New South Wales proud of their team is one that motivates me immensely," he said.

"I am really looking forward to being part of this new era in NSW rugby."

"My immediate goal is to establish our identity loud and clear, inside and outside of the team; who we are, how we are going to play the game and what we are prepared to do to earn the respect of our team mates, our supporters and our competitors, as individuals and as a team.

"By achieving this we will earn the right to think about getting some good results."

Waratahs chairman Roger Davis said the choice of the 45-year-old as "an agent of change" was unanimous.

Cheika ended his playing career with Randwick in 1999 and moved into coaching, taking his first position as head coach of Italian side Petrarca Rugby.

On his return to Australia he guided Randwick to first and second grade Premiership titles in 2004 before moving overseas again to steer Leinster to Celtic League success in 2008 and a Heineken Cup title in 2009.

Until June he was director of rugby with Stade Francais in France.

His appointment follows an extensive search conducted by the Waratahs Rugby Board. Davis said the panel had been unanimous in its support for the highly regarded former Randwick and Leinster coach as the best possible candidate to lead the Waratahs into a new and successful era.

"In addition to a wealth of domestic and international coaching experience, Michael has a proven track record as an inspirational leader and an agent of change.

"We believe he is the right man to embrace the HSBC Waratahs' great tradition and ambition and develop a strong and successful culture that embraces all our supporters, partners and stakeholders."

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