Michael Cheika will not face any punishment for his behaviour during his team’s record 30-6 defeat at Twickenham last Saturday.
The former Leinster and Waratahs coach, who led the Wallabies to the World Cup final in 2015, cut a frustrated figure on Saturday after he saw some big decisions go against his side such as disallowed tries by Marika Koroibete and Michael Hooper.
And this frustration spilled over on a couple of occasions as the 50-year-old former Randwick forward was twice caught by TV cameras sarcastically clapping referee Ben O’Keeffe after some of these marginal calls had gone against his side.
He was also apparently caught mouthing an expletive when Hooper’s try was ruled out.
Cheika, the only coach to have won a European title and a Super Rugby crown with Leinster and the Waratahs respectively, also went down to the touchline to protest to officials about some of the decisions and also got caught up in a verbal spat with a fan.
But after evaluating Cheika’s comments, the Autumn International Disciplinary officer has taken the decision not to sanction him. Instead, they have decided to issue the Sydney-born coach with a warning.
They issued a statement last night which reads as follows:
“Mr Cheika and the Australian Rugby Union cooperated with the investigation, which has now been completed.”
“In light of Mr Cheika’s explanations of his conduct, his clear understanding of the need to protect and promote the interests of the sport, and his open apology for any offence caused, the Disciplinary Officer for the Autumn Internationals (in consultation with World Rugby) has decided not to pursue any disciplinary proceedings against Mr Cheika.
“The Disciplinary Officer has, however, urged Mr Cheika to be aware of the risks during matches when he knows he will be being filmed and potentially broadcast, and where possible to moderate his conduct and language accordingly.
“Mr Cheika has accepted the position.”
Cheika and his team take on Scotland on Saturday in the final match of their northern hemisphere tour and will be looking to end an impressive year on a high, as well as exacting revenge on the Scots after Gregor Townsend’s men won the last clash between the teams back in June.
The game will also be Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore’s swansong as the 34-year-old 128 times-capped hooker plays his final game of competitive rugby.
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena