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Paris adieu means chase on for Cheika


Greg Growden

Highly regarded ... Cheika's name is certain to again be mentioned at Moore Park.

Highly regarded ... Cheika's name is certain to again be mentioned at Moore Park. Photo: Getty Images

MICHAEL CHEIKA is in high demand as three Australian provinces, including the Waratahs, and numerous overseas clubs are certain to approach him following yesterday's news that he will not continue as Stade Francais director of rugby next season.

French media yesterday reported that Cheika would be replaced next year, his assistants Christophe Laussacq and Mario Ledesma expected to succeed the former Randwick and Australian under-21 representative.

According to sources close to Cheika, the split with the Paris club, where he has been in charge since 2010, was amicable.

While this improves the Western Force's hopes of attracting Cheika following Richard Graham's departure to the Queensland Reds, other Australian provinces have been interested in luring the highly talented coach, who won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009.

For several years, high-ranking Waratahs officials have been keen to entice Cheika, but the timing has never been right.

When there was a head coaching vacancy, Cheika wasn't available - as he was instead involved with a European club.

In recent times, though, it is understood there has been interest in trying to lure Cheika back to Sydney, possibly as an assistant coach to Michael Foley, who is in the first year of a three-year contract. However, Cheika would be unlikely to accept that, realising that the best way to get the Waratahs back on track would be if he were in charge of the coaching staff and where he could have some control over the organisation's head office.

Nonetheless, with the Waratahs in danger of missing out on this year's finals, Cheika's name is certain to again be mentioned at Moore Park as a potential alternative.

Cheika has links with the Waratahs playing group, as captain Rocky Elsom played with him at Leinster and understands his capabilities. His name has also been mentioned at the Melbourne Rebels as a possible future head coach. He will also be in high demand with northern hemisphere clubs but, with a young family, Cheika could be persuaded to returning to Australia.

He has a reputation for being a tough, straight and smart coach, who is as hard on himself as his players. He has the ability to attract talented players and is renowned for gaining the respect and loyalty of high-profile performers. He succeeded in transforming Leinster and, when moving to Stade Francais, embraced the Parisian culture and the club. However missing out on a final play-off, finishing seventh in this season's Top 14, has worked against him.

Cheika has for some time been on the top of the list of candidates for the Force coaching position and is known to have the support of several senior players in Perth.

The Force are scheduled to start the formal selection process this week, with other candidates including former All Blacks winger John Kirwan, former Force assistant coach John Mulvihill, interim coach Phil Blake, former Wallabies assistant coach Tim Lane, former Waratahs assistant coach Brian Melrose and recent ACT Brumbies coach Andy Friend.

The coaching recommendation will come from a committee that includes several Force board members, players' representative Scott Staniforth, captain David Pocock and team veteran Nathan Sharpe.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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