Wallabies great Drew Mitchell spoke of the prospect of an unlikely reunion between Michael Cheika and the Waratahs, describing the job as “the perfect situation for him.”
NSW is looking for a new coach after the Rob Penney’s controversial kiwifruit ax on Sunday after a winless start to the Super Rugby season.
Penney’s assistants Jason Gilmore and Chris Whitaker took the reins for the remainder of the campaign, with Waratahs general manager Paul Doorn saying he wanted a ‘permanent’ coach in September.
The Waratahs improved a lot in the 24-22 loss to the Brumbies, which brought them down to 0-6 for the season.
Cheika, alongside Roosters coach Trent Robinson, watched at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
He has yet to publicly state whether he is interested in the concert, but his Stan Sport colleague Mitchell said the game made too much sense.
“From previous experience, seeing what Michael Cheika has done with other teams, also being part of some of those teams, is kind of the perfect situation for him, for a Michael Cheika type rebuild. “Mitchell said.
“It’s what he does best, coming in when a team is under pressure, under turmoil, he comes in and sweeps it up and gets what he wants.
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“Because that’s what he needs and a head coach can perform and be judged on his performance, he has to be able to do it the way he wants.
“And it looks like Rob Penney hasn’t been able to do that, in terms of recruiting new players and spending the full amount of the salary cap.”
Cheika coached the Waratahs between 2013-15 and led the club to their first and only Super Rugby title in 2014.
He then took the reins of the Wallabies from 2014-19 and has been an assistant coach with Argentina and a consultant with the Roosters since.
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Mitchell has played under Cheika for Australia and NSW and has said his powerful personality is the right one as the Waratahs look to add quality and experience to a young team.
“Someone like Michael Cheika, they have to be strong, they have to be the type to come in and lead the franchise,” Mitchell said.
“I haven’t known anyone better than Michael Cheika to do this.
“But who knows, obviously there will be candidates all over the world raising their hands because it’s a valuable role for anyone in rugby.”
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