19 Sep 2012

Cheika returns home to turn around ailing Waratahs

11:34 am on 19 September 2012

Michael Cheika, who led Leinster to a Heineken Cup triumph in 2009, has been charged with turning around the ailing New South Wales Waratahs after being named as the Super Rugby team's new coach.

The 45-year-old has been handed a three-year contract with the province, traditionally Australia's strongest and wealthiest, which last season crashed to a record eight successive losses and ended up 11th in the 15-team competition.

Waratahs players, however, formed the core of the Australia team that beat Six Nations champions Wales 3-0 in a test series earlier this year and it was that talent that drew Cheika home to Sydney.

Cheika replaces Michael Foley, who quit the job in July after just one season in charge to take up a three-year deal with the Western Force - a job Cheika turned down.