Cheika wants fans to jump on for the long haul

by Staff Writer

Passion is not borne out of one match or one tournament but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika hopes this Wallabies team can encourage fans to join the ride for the long haul.

Cheika wants those who have followed the Wallabies’ World Cup journey to stay on board for the long haul, regardless of the result in Sunday’s semi-final.

His team has won itself plenty of admirers both in England and at home through its run to the final four and players and coach have spoken often about wanting to make Australia proud.

While their most significant match under him will come this weekend, Cheika said one match nor one tournament would make a long-term change.

“I’m a believer of things like that growing organically because people really enjoy watching the team play and being a part of what the team does, the ups and the downs,” he said.

“Of course it’s going to make more noise because we’re in a World Cup semi and all that.”

Australia’s attack-heavy style makes them one of the more exciting teams to watch and Cheika said it was more about the how than the what when it came to winning people over.

“At the end of the day, if you’re building something of substance, you want people to believe in how we represent them on a day to day basis no matter what the circumstances,” he said.

“I think it motivates me to want our supporters enjoying our footy and having our supporters enjoying the game.

“We’ve said that numerous times and being proud of how the national team plays and that’s something that’s really important for us.”

Walking the streets of London, Cheika said he felt that enjoyment creeping in to people he spoke with.

“I believe so, from meeting supporters in the street, seeing what they’ve got to say,” he said.

“That’s consistently (a priority) for us, in this year’s team, to ensure that we’re leaving something behind for next year’s team that they can build on.”

Cheika said he had complete faith in his players to capitalise on the opportunity with which they have been presented, to qualify for a World Cup final.

“I really do believe a lot in this side, I really believe in the players in the team because I’ve seen them work very, very hard every single day and that consistency brings belief.

“That in itself won’t mean anything except the fact it gives us the launching pad to go out there and play the best footy we can.”

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