19 May 2016

Cheika re-signs with Wallabies

3:34 pm on 19 May 2016

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has signed a contract extension through until the 2019 Rugby World Cup and immediately set his sights on rebuilding Australian rugby to ensure success for the long term.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

Cheika took over from Ewen McKenzie at the end of 2014 after a troubled three years for the test team and enjoyed immediate success by guiding the Wallabies to last year's World Cup final.

"I'm very happy, you know what I mean?" the 49-year-old said.

"It's nice to know we're going to have another chance to work together towards a World Cup and also put some foundations in place for the next coach and the coach after that so we can start growing things properly.

"To lay the foundations across national and state teams so we can be as successful as possible."

Cheika has always seen his team's role in part as ambassadors for the game within the crowded Australian sports market and he saw no pressure in having enjoyed such success so early in his reign.

"I don't have any expectations beyond doing my absolute best every day. What we did yesterday is not going to be good enough for tomorrow," he said.

"I try to set standards for the team and get them to understand how people want to support us. We want the people to enjoy the good and the bad times and ride that roller coaster with us."

The only coach to have won a Super Rugby title and a Heineken Cup, Cheika's next challenge is three tests against England in June.

Long-term injuries to Matt Toomua and Kurtley Beale as well as Cheika's unwillingness to bring Matt Giteau back from Toulon while the French club are still in the playoffs have left Australia's short of centres for the England series.

The World Rugby coach of the year for 2015, however, saw that as an opportunity.

"I know people say our depth is not that good, but I've got a lot of belief in that depth," Cheika said.

"The opportunity is there for two or three players to come through and show that they're up for it. I'm more than happy to take those opportunities."

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief Bill Pulver said he was "absolutely delighted" Cheika had agreed the two-year contract extension after a "sensational" 2015 for the Wallabies.

"We won 83 percent of our test matches, we won the Rugby Championship, and we had a terrific ride through the World Cup," he said.

"The year that he gave us really restored the pride we have in our national team."