Wallabies coach Cheika signs on until 2019 World Cup

FORMER LEINSTER COACH Michael Cheika has re-committed his future to Austrlia after extending his contract through to the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Cheika – World Rugby Coach of the Year – had 18 months remaining on his deal with Australian Rugby Union (ARU) but the 49-year-old has signed a two-year contract extension.

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The new contract is just reward for Cheika, who guided the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final, having led Australia to their first Rugby Championship in the same year.

“I never imagined I would be in the position of coaching Australia and feel extremely honoured to have the opportunity to continue on for the next period though to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan,” Cheika said.

“Along with the other members of our team, I will be doing my absolute best to ensure that every game that the Australian Rugby team plays between now and then fills the nation with pride and all Australians can watch the Wallabies play in a way that Australians want to see rugby played.

“It is a privilege to be associated with the people involved with our national team and playing my part in establishing the Wallabies identity for the years to come and for many years after that.”

As Australia prepare to host England in a three-Test series next month, ARU chief executive Bill Pulver added: “We could not be more delighted to have secured Michael’s services as national coach until at least the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

“The performance of the Wallabies at the World Cup put rugby back on the map in a huge way in Australia and you cannot understate the influence Michael has had, along with his fine coaching team, in igniting the passion of Australian rugby fans with the way the team performed both on and off the field during the tournament.”

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