Michael Cheika has the full support of Rugby Australia despite Wallabies performances against New Zealand that the governing body concedes were unacceptable.
The All Blacks again retained the Bledisloe Cup after sealing a second successive comfortable win in Auckland on Saturday. After prevailing 38-13 in Sydney, Steve Hansen’s side cruised to a 40-12 victory at Eden Park thanks to four tries from Beauden Barrett.
Those results indicate a regression for a team beaten 34-17 by New Zealand under Cheika’s leadership in the 2015 World Cup final.
Cheika’s contract runs until the end of next year’s World Cup in Japan, and Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle insists his deal will not be cut short.
“[They were] disappointing performances, no doubt,” Castle said. “And everyone recognises that – that’s not how we want the Wallaby jersey to be perceived at all.
“He is contracted through to the World Cup and he has a plan – we are across that plan and we are comfortable with it.
“But clearly you can’t just ignore the performances – they’re not acceptable.
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“So it’s about what we can do to support him as an organisation to make sure he has what he needs to make sure the Wallabies are successful as we move into that World Cup.
“Certainly from our perspective, my support and the board’s support is behind Michael Cheika as we move into the World Cup.
“We’re also talking to him about where the opportunities are and what support he needs around him in his environment to make sure we see that growth.
“We now go into two Test matches against South Africa and Argentina and that’s a really good opportunity for us to see the Wallabies in a winning environment.
“There are parts of our game that haven’t performed – particularly around defence. So we will be having conversations around that.
“But I don’t think it’s about changing what we’ve got. It’s about what else can we bring.”
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