Former Australia boss Michael Cheika was appointed Argentina’s new rugby coach on Friday and told his new charges he hoped he could take them from good to great. “The level is there and the quality is there, without a doubt,” Cheika said when presented by the Argentine Rugby Federation in an online press conference.
“When you’re consistently good, you become great, so let’s start being good. And let’s be good as much as we can, then we’ll see where we can end up.” A Championship-winning coach with Irish club Leinster and Sydney-based New South Wales Waratahs, Cheika guided the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final in Britain the year after taking over the ‘team.
He quit in acrimony four years later, however, after Australia pulled out of the World Cup quarter-finals in Japan, equaling their worst finish at the world tournament. He succeeds Mario Ledesma in Buenos Aires, whose assistant he was for two years before Ledesma resigned as head coach last month after a series of poor results.
The new deal will take the 55-year-old through to the 2023 World Cup. “In Test (rugby) football, it’s about looking (and) feeling your best, and being at his best on the right day,” Cheika said of his new challenge.
“That’s where I think the team needs to understand that it’s just about learning how to be the best on that day. And that’s something that I hope my experience can give them. ” The Cheika Wallabies beat Argentina in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals and he pointed to that game as an example of the resilience of the Pumas that he wants to build on.
“I want to keep the mentality,” he said. “I love that attitude that comes with the Pumas.” “I think the opportunity to coach Pumas was too good to say no,” added Cheika.
“I like the way they play rugby and I feel connected. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.”
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)