Mixed reaction to Cheika's resignation

Rugby World Cup
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Michael Cheika's resignation has been met with mixed reaction from current and former charges as he ended a five-year stint in charge of the Wallabies.

Cheika confirmed on Sunday that he would not seek re-appointment, sticking to a statement that he would stand down if the Wallabies failed to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies mentor, who was in charge for nearly five years, was a somewhat polarising figure among players and it was the case again as the news trickled down.

Enigmatic, and outspoken, flyhalf Quade Cooper wasn't afraid to speak his mind about Cheika's exit on Sunday afternoon, replying to the news on Twitter, writing: "If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago..."

Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale said Cheika's legacy would "100 per cent live on" when asked about his coach post-match.

"He is a great coach," he said.

"He really makes sure you are putting in the right work at the right time and he’s an honest lad.

"He will tell you how it is. One of the best things about Cheik is that you become a better footballer under him, and then overall, looking back, when you reflect, you kind of become a better person under his guidance.

"He is well respected among the playing group and his legacy will 100 per cent live on."

James O'Connor could only express his gratitude to Cheika, who brought him back into the Wallabies fold ahead of the Rugby World Cup after six years in the wilderness.

"I have only positive words for him," he said.

"He is obviously a very emotional guy and a tough man but he has a good sense of the other side of things.

"Not just that logical mind, he get to you and he speaks to your heart.

"It has genuinely been an honour to play for him and he gave me an opportunity when most probably wouldn’t have."

Former Waratah Curtis Rona, whom Cheika handed a Bledisloe debut, openly celebrated Cheika's call to move on.

Rugby Australia will now embark on a review of the Wallabies program as they work towards finalising the appointment of a new coach.