20 Oct 2018

Michael Cheika gets backing from Rugby Australia

10:55 am on 20 October 2018

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his assistants have the full backing of the Rugby Australia board, which has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the Wallabies' quest for 2019 World Cup glory.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

RA chairman Cameron Clyne dismissed suggestions Cheika's meeting with the board on Friday were crisis talks, and insisted the governing body was fully supporting the Wallabies coaching set-up less than a year out from the global showpiece in Japan.

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham, defence coach Nathan Grey, forwards coach Simon Raiwalu and skills coach Mick Byrne were all said to be under pressure after a lean domestic season in which Australia won just three from nine Tests.

Clyne, though, said all Cheika's assistants were safe after the head coach outlined his plan through to the World Cup starting on September 20 next year.

"We've got a World Cup coming up so we just wanted to talk through with him what support does he need from us," Clyne said before Friday night's John Eales Medal awards ceremony in Sydney.

"What are the the sort of resources, what we don't want to have is that we've left anything on the table that leaves the Wallabies in a position not to win a World Cup.

"So it was just a really good and open discussion about how do we feel about this year, what do we think went well, what are the opportunities for improvement, how do we learn from that and what does he need from us to put the absolutely best position to win the World Cup next year."

The chairman also rejected speculation that some of Cheika's assistants - and even the coach himself - would have been sacked had the Wallabies not pulled off their incredible comeback win over Argentina this month after trailing 31-7 at halftime.

"That wasn't the board's view," Clyne said.

"The board's view is that clearly we were obviously delighted to see that record comeback in Argentina, but I think that's a good example this team has got extraordinary potential.

"We have a very tough Rugby Championship (program) because we're playing against some of the best teams you'll ever play against, so we've seen some really great performances from this team.

"We had an extraordinary World Cup in 2015. The potential is there and that's why we think this is the right team and right coach to take us through there."