Michael Cheika’s next test is welcoming Grand Slam champions Ireland for a three-Test series in June and he will be hoping his Wallabies have what it takes to topple one of the most in-form teams in international rugby at the moment.
The Australian Super Rugby sides have shown a promising start to the new season with Cheika, speaking on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight programme, believing that the players already look fitter which has been an issue for him in the past.
All of Cheika’s focus will be on getting the Wallabies to the business end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan but with Joe Schmidt’s contract up after the World Cup with Ireland, there is already speculation of who should take over from the Kiwi if he decides not to extend.
Cheika, taking questions from viewers, was asked whether he would be interested in the Irish job and to be fair, he didn’t bite but did admit that he really enjoyed his time in Ireland with Leinster who speaks very highly of.
“Mate, I just spent last weekend, I went to watch Ireland and Scotland and it was so unreal, I haven’t been back for so long. I spent five wonderful years there and I’m so proud to see Leinster do well, I really felt part of that club and the players there. I haven’t gone back a lot on purpose because I think I really like that feeling of when they don’t see you too much so they’re really nice to you when you go back there!”
“And like you said, I know it’s dodging and weaving, it’s all hypothetical but everything I got is getting Australia ready for 2019 and I’m so looking forward to the next couple of years and what that brings, the ups and downs and I can’t think of anything else past that to be honest.”
Many people credit Cheika for laying the foundations of Leinster’s European dominance but the Australian remains humble and thanks the eastern province for giving him the opportunity.
“I hear that and I’m really thankful for that but for me, I’m the one who should be thanking them [Leinster], like I was pretty much a hobo, no coaching credentials really. Leinster was a big team in Europe and they had three coaches in three years so they gave me a chance and I wanted to do everything I could not to let them down.”
You can watch Cheika speak about Leinster and Ireland from 08:10 below:
Cheika on his time at Leinster:
"I spend five wonderful years there, I'm so proud to see them do well."
"I'm the one who should be thanking them. I had no coaching credentials and they gave me a chance. I did everything I could to not let them down."https://t.co/n80yQ6x8pI
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 21, 2018