Confirmation that Michael Cheika won’t seek re-appointment to continue as Wallabies coach had drawn the ire of his one-time out-half Quade Cooper.
The volatile Cheika, who admitted before the World Cup that he would stand down if Australia didn’t win the 2019 tournament in Japan, has been as good as his word, confirming on Sunday in Oita that his 68-game tenure had ended on the back of their comprehensive 16-40 quarter-final defeat to England.
However, his decision to quit wasn’t entirely welcomed by Cooper, his old sparring partner. The maverick playmaker won just 20 of his 70 caps during the Cheika era – only eight as a starter – and he was last capped off the bench versus Italy in June 2017.
Responding to a tweet from former England international Ugo Moyne, who had retweeted a Fox Sports News story confirming that Cheika was finished as Australian boss, Cooper replied: ‘If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago.’
Cooper’s salty remark quickly started trending online, with more than one thousand people soon hitting the like button on Twitter and more than 200 people retweeting his view that Cheika had very much overstayed his welcome as Wallabies boss.
If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago..
— Quade Cooper (@QuadeCooper) October 20, 2019
While Cheika initially did well during his five years in charge of Australia, guiding them to the final of a 2015 World Cup where Cooper started just once as fly-half at the tournament, his results in recent times left much to be desired.
Defeat to England in Japan meant Australia had won on just 10 occasions in their 23 matches since June 2018, meaning that even if Cheika sought to be reappointed for the 2020 season, it was highly likely his application would not have been successful.
In confirming earlier that he was stepping down, the outspoken 52-year-old said: “It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman.”
WATCH: Michael Cheika’s media conference on Saturday following Australia’s elimination to England
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