It’s hard to know what to make of Michael Cheika’s decision to join the Sydney Roosters as a consultant on a one day a week contract. Stepping onto the grass for four training sessions every month doesn’t seem like it would make enough of an impact to justify it being a position warranting an official title, but the Roosters obviously see it differently.
Cheika is, after all, a man with a wealth of experience in the game and has a knack for getting his message across in no uncertain terms. On this basis, maybe four days a month is indeed enough time for the big Sydneysider to make an impact on the high-flying 2019 Grand Final winners.on the high-flying 2019 Grand Final winners.
Michael Cheika won’t be seeking an extension in 2020, stepping aside as #Wallabies Coach.On behalf of all of us, #ThanksCheik. pic.twitter.com/2xebZNvVOi — Wallabies (@wallabies) October 20, 2019
Despite coaching in rugby union for most of his life, Cheika does actually have quite a big affinity with rugby league having supported South Sydney growing up, the arch-rivals of the Roosters.
And despite quitting as the Wallabies head coach after five years in charge, the 52-year-old’s stock remains high so it’s a real coup for the Roosters to have Cheika in the building with them. As for the value that he will impart on the players; Cheika has always favoured a running style where his backs are well skilled in handling and kicking. Part of the problem with his tenure as Wallabies coach was that the players he had at his disposal weren’t quite good enough to execute the 52-year-old’s game plan, and that was evident during their dismal quarter-final exit to England.
That is at least the impression that Cheika gives off and you’d have to say that the current crop of Wallabies players are fairly ordinary. The same can’t be said for the Roosters squad as they are highly skilled and incredibly hard-working with ball in hand. They will be a tough outfit to beat this season and no stat proves that better than the latest NRL betting as the Roosters are favourites to win the regular season as well as the Grand Final.
“I’d rather win our way, than no way at all”@wallabies head coach Michael Cheika on his team’s performance against England. #RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/92zpkgWOuF — Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 19, 2019
They will take some stopping this season and with big Michael Cheika offering his insights on the uncompromising all-out attacking footy style that he believes in, you’d have to agree that the Roosters will indeed be a frightening side this year. They will have pace to burn and should swarm over
Whether Cheika stays the course of the 2020 campaign remains to be seen, though, as there have been whispers of his return to rugby union, with a few big clubs in the Northern Hemisphere currently going through managerial changes.
It may make sense for him to hang around for the whole of the NRL season as the Roosters looked primed to win some silverware along the way. Indeed, it could be wise to enjoy a year in Sydney that for all money looks like it will be a successful one and then make the switch back to rugby union at the end of 2020. Cheika, as always will have his own ideas on the way forward which means this stint with the Roosters could well be short-lived should the call come in from abroad.
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