Cheika's job is safe ... for now

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:44

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Despite Australia losing their last five Tests, Wallaby coach Michael Cheika's job is safe - for now.

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has backed the Wallabies to turn things around while throwing his support behind Cheika.

After their 17-34 loss to the All Blacks in the World Cup Final last year, the Wallabies went down nil-three to England in June and suffered a record 8-42 loss to New Zealand in Sydney last Saturday.

Pulver is expecting an improved performance in the return game in Wellington on Saturday and has also backed Cheika to coach the team to the 2019 World Cup.

Australia has not beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand since their 23-15 win at Dunedin in 2001.

This is the Wallabies' worst run since 2005 - when they lost seven on the bounce.

However, Pulver said Cheika is not under pressure to keep his job.

"Michael Cheika is our coach right through to the World Cup and he's a world-class coach," Pulver told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"At the elite level of rugby things ebb and flow and that's what we're seeing here. Our boys will fight back."

Australia has lost their three first-choice inside centres to injury after Matt Giteau broke his ankle 10 minutes into the game.

He has since been ruled out for four months.

"Our national coach is hurting and really the entire team is hurting," Pulver continued.

"That's why I'm really confident you're going to see a team that really does play with a lot of pride on the line this weekend. We'll see a far superior performance.

"Cheika has only had a couple of days to pull this together but you're going to see a team on Saturday night that plays with a lot of pride and really tries to do their country proud again."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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