Changes are afoot under Cheika
Imposing figure ... Michael Cheika. Photo: Brendan Esposito
It hasn't taken long for new Waratahs coach Michael Cheika to make an impact on the troubled province. While it was announced last week Waratahs coaching co-ordinator Greg Mumm was leaving, several other major departures are imminent, with another Waratahs staff member soon to announce he is moving on. But coaching is not the only area where there will be changes. As Cheika had little say in the make-up of next year's squad, he will have to wait until the end of next season, when numerous players are off contract, to bring in important newcomers. And some Waratahs administrators should also feel nervous, especially with a NSW powerbroker agitated that several key players have departed the province in recent years. The loss of Kurtley Beale to the Rebels still irritates some who have strong ties to the Waratahs and want to make necessary changes at head office. High-level meetings over the next few weeks will determine the future of several Waratahs figures.
SUPER RUGBY SALARY SCAM
An announcement on the Australian Rugby Union salary cap rort investigation is imminent. ARU officials have been interviewing various Australian provincial figures and club delegates, following the revelation in The Sun-Herald that one province was using an elaborate ''invoicing system'' to be able to pay players cash to avoid taxation and the Super Rugby provincial salary cap. We've been told the investigation has been a frustrating process, with several important officials being especially evasive. Some have ''refused to rat'' on others, but the ARU is gradually getting the required information.
CHARITY TO THE FORE
The Fainga'a twins must be applauded for their work in organising a Think Pink charity golf day for the National Breast Cancer Foundation at Hope Island on October 12. Saia and Anthony have even convinced Robbie Deans to have a rare game of golf.
WALLABIES' HOTEL A GAMBLE
The Wallabies were hidden away during their week in Johannesburg at a casino built to resemble a Tuscan village. However, South African reality was never too far away, with signs near the front entrance reminding all that ''guns are forbidden'' in the precinct. The Springboks had their team room ransacked and several laptop computers stolen on Friday. One Wallabies team official has meanwhile embraced the South African ''meat is good'' philosophy. He was sighted devouring a steak that weighed more than one kilogram and then started scouring other diner's plates for more food. Why? ''Just preparing myself for next week in Argentina.''
RUMOURS OF THE WEEKEND
❏ A Sydney club president has decided it'd be wise if he moved on.
❏ Fascinating altercation between an Australian provincial coach and his CEO recently over the merits of wearing a polo shirt at a function. The coach won that battle.