Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has sent an apology to World Rugby regarding the behaviour of former coach Michael Cheika and other members of the Wallabies camp during the World Cup in Japan.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Castle apologised after the Japan organising committee and other rugby officials expressed their concerns over statements made by Cheika about the sport’s governing body and match officials. The hosts reportedly viewed the Wallabies as among the most difficult teams to deal with.
Cheika lashed out over a three-week suspension handed to wing Reece Hodge, as well as a controversial penalty awarded against centre Samu Kerevi for a dangerous carry in the pool decider against Wales.
‘If there is one bloke World Rugby is not listening to it’s me, no matter what language I spoke to them in,’ said Cheika following the Hodge incident, which left Fijian flank Peceli Yato concussed.
‘As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed,’ added Cheika after Kerevi was penalised for leading with his arm whilst crashing into Wales flyhalf Rhys Patchell.
It was suggested that Cheika’s ‘us-against-them’ attitude had filtered down to other members of the Australia camp.
The outspoken coach, whose contract was due to expire at the end of 2019, resigned from his position following Australia’s defeat by England at the quarter-final stage.
Upon leaving his post, Cheika also revealed that he barely had a relationship with Castle and her board, reportedly because his powers had been reduced as a result of the appointment of Scott Johnson as director of rugby.
New Zealander Dave Rennie was appointed as Cheika’s successor last week.
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