Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will join Nine and Stan Sport’s commentary team for the upcoming Australian rugby season.
Cheika joins Wallabies legend David Campese as two of the most recent signings made by the Australian broadcasters ahead of the Super Rugby AU season set to kick-off on Friday.
Since leaving his post as Wallabies boss following the failed 2019 World Cup campaign, Cheika has been involved in various positions both within rugby union and rugby league.
After a period working as an assistant coach with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL, the 53-year-old joined the Los Pumas coaching staff for last year’s Tri-Nations series in Australia.
As an assistant coach, Cheika helped steer Argentina to their first-ever victory over the All Blacks in Parramatta, while also clinching consecutive draws against his former Wallabies side.
He has since taken up the position as head coach of the Lebanon rugby league team ahead of this year’s Rugby League World Cup in the United Kingdom, but will first take charge of the microphone for Nine and Stan Sport over the coming months.
This isn’t Cheika’s first foray into a commentary role, having worked for BT Sport and the BBC in the past.
For Nine and Stan Sport, he will work as an analyst and provide insight from the commentary booth.
“It was very dependent on the role they wanted me to play,” Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald in the wake of his appointment.
“I can’t see myself on the microphone asking questions but [my job will be around] around giving people who are watching the game a different view on the game and insights into what might be happening in the background and on the field.”
The 2015 World Rugby Coach of the Year added that his previous positions as head coach of the Wallabies, Waratahs, Stade Francais and Leinster gives him a point of difference to other callers.
“Obviously I have an interesting perspective because I have been on the other side. If you have an opinion, it’s based on evidence, not just a thought.
“It’s also about trying to connect the dots for people around what players and coaches are thinking or doing as opposed to judging them. I won’t be going on TV to judge anybody.”
The planned Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition is in jeopardy due COVID-19 outbreaks in NZ and Australia in recent weeks and Kiwi border restrictions remaining intact.https://t.co/ngJEZAzKKj
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 16, 2021
Campese, meanwhile, is also excited to join the network after having previously held a role with South African broadcaster SuperSport.
“I’ve always wanted to be in rugby,” he said. “I just think I’m old enough now to understand the game pretty well and just try and give a different aspect.
“Over the last couple of years I think the game has been neglected in knowledge of the game. I’m not saying the guys who have been there don’t know the game, but I’m a bit different.”
Cheika and Campese join a commentary team that already features Drew Mitchell, Tim Horan, Andrew Mehrtens, Sean Maloney, Roz Kelly, Allana Ferguson, Nick McArdle, Morgan Turinui, Justin Harrison and Andrew Swain.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now