Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has fallen on his sword following Saturday’s disastrous Rugby World Cup quarterfinal loss to England.
Australia was thrashed 40-16 in Oita and the loss means Cheika’s five year tenure ends with a 50 per cent win record from his 68 Tests at the helm.
Cheika made an explosive revelation after announcing he would not seek reappointment.
“It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne),” Cheika said.
“Obviously I got asked the question in the press conference about what is going to happen going forward and at the time I wasn’t keen to answer but I always knew the answer in my head.
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“I wanted to speak to my wife and tell a few people I care about because I put my chips in earlier on in the year and I told people no win, no play.
“I knew at the final whistle but I wanted to give it that little bit of time to settle down and talk to my people.
“I have no regrets about making the call but yes I would have loved to stay on.
“I’m attached to the team and it’s been an honour to do this role to coach of Australia.
“It’s not given to a lot of people and I have taken it with a lot of pride and honour.
“I made my call and I wanted to show I was prepared to put myself on the line to achieve what I believe the team could do.
“I can honestly say I’m always looking to be better but I am really proud of what I have been able to do over the last four years with the team under some very challenging circumstances on and off the field.”
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Former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison — the boss of Australia’s players association — was gobsmacked by Cheika’s revelation about his employers.
“It’s always alarming to hear that potentially the three most powerful positions in Australian rugby don’t have a symbiotic relationship,” Harrison said on Fox Sports.
“There needs to be a robust review.”
Cheika caught Rugby Australia on the hop with his announcement.
The national body released a statement later on Sunday night confirming the news.
New Zealand coach Dave Rennie is the hot favourite to replace Cheika.
Rennie is currently coaching Glasgow Warriors and previously led the Chiefs to two Super Rugby titles.
He has a working relationship with RA high performance boss Scott Johnson.
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Cheika took the job in 2014 with the Wallabies in disarray following the Ewen McKenzie-Di Patston scandal.
He guided Australia on a memorable run to the 2015 World Cup final which rightly earned him plenty of brownie points.
But performances have been increasingly erratic in the last two years and Cheika’s time was clearly up after the record quarterfinal loss.
He infuriated many Australian fans with a run at all costs tactical approach which was brutally exposed by England.
Cheika has been linked with a job at French club Montpellier.
Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper did not give his former coach a glowing sendoff.