Waratahs turn to Cheika

Australian appointed head coach of home state club

Last Updated: 18/09/12 12:29pm

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Michael Cheika: Relishing challenge at Waratahs

Michael Cheika: Relishing challenge at Waratahs

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New South Wales Waratahs have appointed Michael Cheika as their new head coach following the departure of Michael Foley.

Former Leinster coach Cheika was confirmed in the position on Tuesday and will look to turn the club's fortunes around after they finished the 2012 Super Rugby season in 11th position.

Waratahs ended the campaign with eight straight defeats and Cheika, who played for New South Wales in the late 1990s, has set his sights on bringing a winning mentality back to his home club.

In a statement, the 45-year-old said: "The opportunity to coach the Super Rugby team of my home state and the responsibility to make all our supporters and all people from NSW proud of their team is one that motivates me immensely.

"I am really looking forward to being part of this new era in NSW rugby and will bring all the passion and professionalism I have to make this team one everyone will be proud of.

"My immediate goal is to establish our identity loud and clear, inside and outside of the team; who we are, how we are going to play the game and what we are prepared to do to earn the respect of our team-mates, our supporters and our competitors, as individuals and as a team.

"By achieving this we will earn the right to think about getting some good results."

Waratahs chairman Roger Davis said the appointment of Cheika as "an agent of change" was unanimous.

Cheika ended his playing career with Randwick in 1999 and moved into coaching, taking his first position as head coach of Italian side Petrarca Rugby.

On his return to Australia he guided Randwick to first and second grade Premiership titles in 2004 before moving overseas again to steer Leinster to Magners League success in 2008 and a Heineken Cup title in 2009.

Until June he was director of rugby with Stade Francais in France.

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