Under-pressure Australian boss Michael Cheika believes good people is the secret to success in rugby.


Cheika’s tenure in charge of the Wallabies has been rocked by a poor run of results – four wins in 13 matches during 2018 – and the termination of Israel Folau’s contract.

However, during a flying visit to Dublin this week to take part in the 10-year anniversary celebrations surrounding Leinster’s breakthrough European Cup win in 2009, he suggested that the calibre of people involved in a team matters more than any tactics and training they do.

“We did a lot of work in the lead-up to ’09 around building the provincial feel of the team,” said the Australian coach to leinsterrugby.com. Cheika spent spent five years in Ireland before making his way back home via a stint in France at Stade Francais.

“A lot of great work done by the players and the administration to build that and I could only be proud to see what has happened since.

“Joe Schmidt did an absolutely magnificent job and now Leo (Cullen). To see ex-players joining the fold in the coaching ranks… Felipe (Contepomi), John Fogarty, guys like Richie Murphy go on into the national team, good people are the most important thing.


“You can have great tactics, you can have great training and all that stuff, but good people make things happen – and there is a lot of good people here.”

Under-achieving Leinster had only won a single Celtic League title when Cheika arrived in 2005, but he delivered another league success and, most importantly, a first European title before handing over the reins and seeing the club consistently become one of the best around, winning three more European Cups and four leagues.

His best memories of the 2009 European run were the semi-final win that dethroned holders Munster at Croke Park and the the success in the final versus Leicester in Edinburgh.

“Being a foreigner, (having) two Irish team playing at such a historical venue (Croke Park) was really dramatic.

“And I suppose maybe the 30 seconds after the final whistle in the final. You rarely see people that are genuinely surprised and excited with something that they never expected and you saw players who maybe didn’t believe they could do it beforehand finally get to do it. That moment was really special.”

WATCH: RugbyPass goes behind the scenes at the 2018 Guinness PRO14 final where Leinster beat Scarlets in Dublin

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