Fri, Nov 16, 9:16am by Staff Writer
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has the full support of Rugby Australia, with Chief Executive Officer Raelene Castle once again publicly supporting the beleaguered coach, despite his run of poor results.
Speaking to media in Europe, Castle remarked that, “Michael’s contract is through to the end of the World Cup. We’ve said that publicly we continue to support that stance.”
Cheika has faced continual backlash after a string of poor results has seen the Wallabies win just three of their 11 Tests this season.
Their most recent result was a 9-6 loss to Wales in Cardiff, a team that it had not lost to in over a decade.
Prior to Australia’s 37-20 loss to New Zealand in Yokohama last month, Cheika appeared before the Rugby Australia board to present his plans for the lead up to next year’s World Cup in Japan.
He won continued support for his coaching team of Stephen Larkham, Nathan Grey and Simon Raiwalui at the meeting, although Castle admitted there was plenty of room for improvement.
“You know the effort’s there, you know the focus is there. It was a tremendous arm-wrestle that could have gone either way,” she told the Australian.
Cheika is set to meet with Rugby Australia again at the conclusion of the Spring Tour, with games against Italy and England remaining.
ARU chief declares Michael Cheika safe despite 'universal frustration’ over performances.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) November 15, 2018
Sunday morning’s Test match in Padua has presented numerous selection headaches for Cheika, who originally intended to field a largely second-string side against Italy.
The Wallabies first played Italy in 1983 and has won all 17 matches contested between the two countries.
Australia’s attack has struggled for some time and last weekend’s nine-point showing against Wales was the first time in 12 months that Australia failed to crack double digits on the scoreboard.
With a trip to Twickenham to face England looming there will be plenty of players that will want to play well this week to push for selection in a fortnight’s time.
Italy comes into the game after a 28-17 win against Georgia in Florence last weekend.
It was a big game for the Italian’s who had a winless Six Nations campaign this season. Georgia has been the best of the rest when it comes to European nations not contesting the Six Nations tournament and there had been calls to implement a promotion-relegation system in the Six Nations and European Championship.
New Zealand has been announced as the host of the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup after defeating Australia in a World Rugby vote 25-17 on Thursday morning.
New Zealand is the first Southern Hemisphere nation to host the women’s tournament, which was last staged in Ireland in 2017.
The women’s national team the Black Ferns have won five of the last six World Cups, beating England 41-32 in the 2017 final.
The tournament will have a different structure to previous events, with the tournament length increased from 23 days to 35 days.
There will also be a quarterfinal stage of the competition and the elimination of classification games.
After narrowly escaping defeat at Twickenham last weekend, England make the short journey to Dublin to take on the number two team in the world Ireland.
New Zealand battled back from 15-0 down at the home of rugby to record a memorable 16-15 win, after England was denied a late try by the TMO.
Ireland comes into the match after wins against Italy and Argentina, while the last time they played in Dublin was in 2013, a Ryan Crotty try in the 80th minute gave the All Blacks a 24-22 win.
Siri, show me why Ireland vs New Zealand means so much this weekend. pic.twitter.com/CjGi7iR5OO
— Linebreak Rugby (@LinebreakRugby) November 15, 2018
It has been a tremendously successful season for the Irish team, who won the Six Nations title and their best-of-three Test tour of Australia.
It has been reported that the IRFU and NZR are finalising details of a series between the two nations in New Zealand in 2022 as the teams meet for Sunday’s game.
The last time Ireland played in New Zealand was in 2012 when they were hammered 60-0 and they have lost all 12 games on New Zealand soil.
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