Ex-Leinster and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika lands new director of rugby job

Michael Cheika

Former Leinster and Wallabies head coach Micheal Cheika has been appointed as the director of rugby for the NEC Green Rocket’s ahead of next season.

Cheika hasn’t taken charge of a team since Australia’s quarter-final exit at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but did act in an advisory capacity for Argentina in last year’s Tri Nations.

Now the experienced Australian coach will return to a top job with the Japanese Top League side for the 2022 season.

Michael Cheika’s CV.

The 54-year-old has plenty of experience working as a coach in various locations in the world, first trying his hand at professional coaching in Italy with Petrarca Padova.

Since then, Cheika has coached Leinster in Ireland, Stade Francais in France, the New South Wales Waratahs in Australia, and was the head coach of the Wallabies from 2014 to 2019.

The Australian has won plenty of silverware during his time in coaching, including a Magners League and Heineken Cup title with Leinster, a Super Rugby title with the Waratahs and a Rugby Championship title with the Wallabies.

The 2015 World Rugby coach of the year has remained involved in rugby since his last coaching job with the Pumas by working as a pundit for Stan Sports Australia.

NEC Green Rocket’s torrid season in the Top League.

Michael Cheika will have his work cut out for him with the Green Rocket’s next year, as the China-based side lost all seven of their matches in this season’s Top League and finished bottom of the White Conference.

The Green Rockets managed to secure just one losing-bonus point in this year’s Top League, and ended their season with a thumping 71-24 loss to the Canon Eagles.

Former England fullback Alex Goode played for the Green Rockets in 2020, but the Saracens man will return to England next season after a one-year stint in Japan.

Cheika has promised his new employers to bring back the “DNA of the NEC Green Rockets”, when he takes charge of the Japanese side next year.

“I am very excited to be joining NEC in this new role. Together with the company, the coaches and the players we will aspire to bring back the DNA of the NEC Green Rockets to bring pride and enjoyment to the whole NEC community,” Cheika said.

“I look forward to working hard together with everyone to orchestrate a brighter world for NEC rugby and rugby in Japan.”

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