England line up Wallabies coach Cheika to succeed Lancaster?

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 9, 2015

Reports in the Australian press claim Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is in the frame to take over from Stuart Lancaster as boss of the England rugby team.

“Rookie coach” Lancaster to lose Red Rose role?

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Despite growing uncertainty over the managerial hotseat, with the RFU conducting a thorough investigation into how the recent Rugby World Cup hosts flopped at that tournament, Coral make the Red Rose narrow 2/1 favourites to respond and secure the 2016 Six Nations crown.

Speculation is mounting that Lancaster will be axed after failing to steer England out of Pool A, which also contained the Aussies and neighbours Wales. The Red Rose became the first host nation of the Rugby World Cup to fail to reach the knockout phase.

Lancaster has attracted widespread criticism with outgoing Japan coach Eddie Jones, who took Australia to a runners-up spot behind England at the 2003 tournament, describing him as “a rookie coach”.

Cheika stock at highest

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Cheika, appointed by the Wallabies in October 2014, has had an incredible 13 months in charge of his country, pipping bitter rivals New Zealand to the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship title this summer before subsequently steering the Aussies to another Rugby World Cup final.

Such exploits in so short a space of time resulted in Cheika being named World Rugby Coach of the Year for 2015. He possesses plenty of experience of European rugby too, having spent five years with Irish Pro12 team Leinster (2005-10), winning that league in 2008 and following up with the Heineken Cup in 2009.

Others honours from 48-year-old Cheika’s coaching career to date include steering Stade Francais to the 2011 European Challenge Cup final, and a successful Super Rugby campaign with New South Wales Waratahs last year.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have Cheika under contract until the end of 2017 – halfway through the next Rugby World Cup cycle, ahead of Japan hosting the 2019 edition.


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