Michael Cheika will succeed Ewen McKenzie as the Wallabies head coach as the countdown to the spring tour of Europe heats up.
McKenzie announced his resignation from the position after a demoralising one point defeat to the All Blacks on Saturday, which ends a largely unsuccessful 2 years at the helm of the Australian national side.
Cheika was the favourite with media pundits after leading the ‘Tahs to their first championship in the Super Rugby era, but was only interested in the position if he could simultaneously continue to coach the NSW franchise.
Indeed, Cheika’s unveiling at a press conference in Sydney today confirmed he will continue to coach the Waratah’s while managing his national duties, but only for a year.
“It is really important that we are clear with the identity (of the Wallabies)” Cheika told media.
“I never got the chance to play for the Wallabies so to have the opportunity to coach them is touching to me and inspires me to do my best.”
The 47-year old also named a 33-man squad for the Wallabies spring tour, which they depart for on Friday, with Kurtley Beale an expected inclusion should he be cleared in Friday’s hearing. – Patrick Boddan
Top photo from Michael Zimmer’s Flickr photostream.