Michael Cheika admitted he vacated the Australia hotseat with deep regret at failing to achieve his personal targets.
The Wallabies were Rugby World Cup finalists under Cheika’s leadership in 2015, and recognition for that achievement came when the Sydney native landed World Rugby’s Coach of the Year award.
However, last year’s World Cup was one of grim failure for Australia, with a 40-16 thrashing by England in the quarter-finals sending Cheika’s side out of the tournament.
It was a jarring loss for Cheika, who soon declared he would stand down as head coach, and the 53-year-old has since changed tack, crossing codes to work with NRL side Sydney Roosters.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Cheika said: “Am I satisfied in the end? No, because I wanted to win a Bledisloe and win the World Cup and I wasn’t able to do that.
“That hurts me personally because I really value the supporter on the street and I know that’s what they want.”
Pertinently, he witnessed disappointments reflected in his nearest and dearest.
“I see it in my own family,” Cheika said. “The kids are watching the game, all dressed in their jerseys and then the next morning, if you lose, they’re unhappy.”
A Randwick great, Cheika has also coached Leinster, Stade Francais and the Waratahs in a stellar career.
Frustrations have been raised by many observers over the relationship between Rugby Australia and the Super Rugby teams, and whether each is acting in the other’s best interests.
Cheika said of his time in charge of the Wallabies: “Considering the circumstances we had going on in Australian rugby in the last five years, we always represented with maximum courage.”
He added: “The Wallabies are a result of our preparations in Super Rugby and they’ve been difficult because we’ve had a lot going on.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta