Australia coach Michael Cheika’s ongoing battle against the All Blacks, England and Ireland has not only cost the Wallabies their credibility as international powerhouses, but his unsuccessful clashes with the world’s premier sides has hit his wallet hard.
Since taking over as Wallabies head coach in October 2014, Cheika has suffered 21 defeats in 25 outings against that trio of nations, with the All Blacks in particular denying his side a World Cup crown and multiple Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship titles.
Australia’s lack of success against New Zealand, as well as England and Ireland, has seen the Wallabies suffer since the 2015 World Cup.
They find themselves in their second-lowest-ever position of 6th on the World Rugby Rankings with a success rate of just 40 per cent in test matches since 2016, and it has now been revealed by Fairfax how much Cheika’s dismal record against his trans-Tasman rivals has cost him financially.
The “employment agreement” Cheika signed four-and-a-half years ago provides intricate details of his “incentive arrangements”, which is headlined by a top-up of $100,000 per annum for the Wallabies head coach role at the time of Cheika’s signing.
A “performance bonus” payment scheme was added to the agreement – “a maximum of $100,000 for 2014, $450,000 for 2015 and $400,000 for 2016 and 2017”.
However, the most significant clause in the agreement was an additional $100,000 top-up if Cheika could guide the Wallabies to a Bledisloe Cup series win over the All Blacks.
That, though, has failed to come to fruition, as has the additional $100,000 bonus for an unbeaten spring tour of the northern hemisphere.
Cheika would have received some joy in earning the $100,000 bonus he was promised for taking the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final, but had he defeated the All Blacks at Twickenham, he would have pocketed a mammoth $250,000.
With four unsuccessful challenges for the Bledisloe Cup, four defeat-filled visits to the northern hemisphere and a World Cup final loss for the Wallabies under the stewardship of Cheika, the 51-year-old has missed out on bonus top-ups worth $350,000 since signing for Rugby Australia due a lack of positive results.
Cheika will be hoping for a turn of fortunes for his side in what will likely be his final season at the helm of the Wallabies, with the World Cup in Japan later this year expected to be his swansong tournament with Australia.
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