Support flows for Cheika as investigation outcome awaits

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will have to wait another day to find out the outcome of a disciplinary investigation, as high-profile sporting figures jumped to the Australian mentor’s defence.

The Autumn International disciplinary committee said on Monday it was looking into Cheika’s ‘comments and conduct’ during Australia’s Test against England, after ‘media reports and a referral from World Rugby’.

Despite initially flagging an update on Wednesday morning (AEDT), a spokesperson said overnight the investigation was ongoing and an update would happen in “due course”.

World Cup-winning England coach Clive Woodward came to the defence of Cheika after confirmation of the investigation emerged in the UK.

In response to the news on Tuesday, Woodward tweeted:

“I really hope this is not true , nothing Cheika did that bought the game into disrepute,- in fact him & Eddie J added to a compelling match.”

Former England cricket international Kevin Pietersen replied to the tweet, echoing Woodward’s comments, while former England international Tom May described possible action as an ‘absolute joke’.

The use of the coaching box camera has also come under discussion in the public sphere, after repeated shots of Cheika were shown during the game, while his England counterpart Eddie Jones was shown just twice during the match, and split screens were shown after the game, to compare the two coaches’ reactions through the match.

Former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles, who played under Cheika at the Waratahs, said passion should be encouraged, not condemned, and suggested the coach cameras would soon have a few more refusals.

“I really think that coaches shouldn't have to answer what they say in the private box when they're coaching,” he said on FOX SPORTS.

“We've seen coaches in all sports get emotional and passionate. I don't think it's something that the media should be focusing on.

“I think you'll soon see the cameras will go off. I believe the coaches in international rugby have the option to allow the broadcaster to put that camera up.

“I assume the Wallabies won't do that (anymore). It's something that probably doesn't need to be spoken about after a game.

“There were plenty of other questions about the game. I don't believe the Wallabies coach needs to sit there (and answer that).

“Sport’s passionate, there's emotion involved and I think coaches are allowed to show that side of them during a game and I don't think it's something we should be focusing on after a game, especially in post-sideline interviews.”

Australia takes on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.