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Michael Cheika revels in success of Argentina and Lebanon

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika enjoyed a monumental week as he coached Lebanon in a Rugby League World Cup quarter-final and led Argentina to a win over England.

The Australian was perhaps the busiest man in sport this week, as he found himself coaching two international teams in two different sports, as he double jobbed with the Lebanon rugby league team and the Argentina rugby union team.

Lebanon were no match for Australia on Friday night, although Cheika’s side did themselves proud at the World Cup as they beat Ireland and Jamaica to reach the last eight.

Just two days later Cheika found himself back coaching Argentina, and Los Pumas pulled off a historic result as they beat England for the first time in 13 years.

Cheika was speaking to Amazon Prime Video after Argentina’s victory and reflected on a busy but very memorable week.

Michael Cheika on a great weekend for Lebanon and Argentina.

“It’s up there, it’s great. I said to the lads when I left up north, it’s one of the best experiences of my life going to the Rugby League World Cup with the nation of my parents’ heritage,” Cheika said.

“I didn’t imagine that it would end up like that, that whole thing, and it gave me a lot of energy. Coming up and back and switching in between, it didn’t even feel strange. It felt really good today coming here.

“I said to the boys that I might take two or three days off every week if we’re going to keep getting the scorelines. I’m really happy for the lads. I don’t think any of our players have ever won against England.

“So it was a first that I think we needed to have before we meet them again next year in the World Cup.”

Friendly rivalry with Eddie Jones.

Cheika finally got one over Eddie Jones, as he made up for seven straight defeats against the England head coach while in charge of the Wallabies with a victory for Argentina today.

When asked if he would take the opportunity to rub Jones’ nose in it, Cheika insisted that he would never gloat about notching a victory against his friend, especially considering his overall record against his fellow Australian.

“No, not at all. He’s never done that to me and he could have had plenty of opportunities, the media has teed it up for him,” Cheika said of Jones.

“When you’re friends with someone, you’re friends with them. You’ll have a bit of cheeky interplay and all that stuff. Eddie was up with us at the League World Cup. He spent a day talking with our coaches as well. He’s a good fella.”

Jones was asked shortly afterwards for his thoughts on his first loss to Cheika and was very gracious in defeat.

“Losing always hurts, mate. Not so much about Michael, I want to see him do well. I didn’t want to see him do too well today, but anyway, that’s the way it goes,” Jones commented.

“It was one of those games where it was three points here and three points there, congratulations to Argentina and Cheika. He’s 50 per cent on the weekend which is not bad.”

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