Cheika Offered Wallabies Coaching Role

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Michael Cheika confirmed on Monday he had been offered the chance to succeed Ewen McKenzie as Australia coach but said there remained some details to be “ironed out” before a deal was struck.

The 47-year-old, who led New South Wales Waratahs to the Super Rugby title earlier this year, is the front-runner to take over from McKenzie, who resigned unexpectedly on Saturday after 15 months in charge.

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“It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens,” Cheika told reporters in Sydney.

“There are a few things to be ironed out, obviously – the logistics, etc everything being so close. So we will see how it goes and work it out from there.”

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is keen to appoint a coach before the squad depart on Friday for their tour of Europe, which features a match against the Barbarians and tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England.

ARU chief Bill Pulver said they would consider a caretaker coach for the tour if it was not possible to make a permanent appointment in time.

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With no June tests and a curtailed Rugby Championship next season, however, that would allow the new coach precious little time to put his imprint on the squad before next year’s World Cup in England.

McKenzie dramatically resigned a few hours before the Wallabies lost 29-28 to New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday amid the turmoil caused by utility back Kurtley Beale allegedly sending offensive text messages to a team official.

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