Wallabies coach Michael Cheika quits

OITA -- Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has resigned his post after Australia were eliminated from the Rugby World Cup following a 40-16 defeat by England on Saturday night.

Cheika announced he wouldn't seek reappointment beyond his Dec. 31 contract during a conference call with Australian media on Sunday afternoon.

"Obviously I got asked the question in the press conference, you would have been there and listening to it, about what's going to happen going forward," Cheika said when asked about why he didn't announce his decision immediately after the Wallabies' defeat.

"At the time I wasn't keen to answer but I did answer in my head; I was keen to speak to my wife and just tell a few people who I care about because I put my chips in earlier on in the year; I told people no win, no pay.

"So I'm the type of person, the type of man, that always backs what he says. I knew at the final whistle but I just wanted to give it that little bit of time to settle down, talk to my people and then make it clear."

Cheika had earlier this year said that if the Wallabies had won the World Cup he would have earned the right to stay on. While that ultimately left him with even less wiggle room than he might have already had, Cheika was adamant he had no regrets about making such a statement.

"I've no regrets about making that call [that if Wallabies didn't win World Cup he would go.

"But yes, I would have loved to stay on, clearly I'm attached to the team. It's an honour, doing this job, this role, the coach of Australia; it's not given to a lot of people and I take it with a lot of pride and a lot of honour.

"But like I said, I made my call and I wanted to show that I was prepared to put myself on the line to achieve what I believe the team could. We didn't do that and I've got to stand by what I said."

While Cheika said he would happily stay on and complete a handover process through to the end of his Dec 31. contract, he did reveal his relationship with both RA chief Raelene Castle and the board had disintegrated virtually beyond repair.

He also spoke of his dislike of the framework that had seen him report into Director of Rugby Scott Johnson since the start of the year, though Cheika said he had no problems with Johnson personally.

"I think it's no secret that I've pretty much got no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman.

"Scott's a lovely bloke and I get on fine with him but I'm sort of not really into that type of thing. I like to take that responsibility. I found also that it changed my normal routine around things.

"Not that my way's definitely the right way, I'm definitely not saying that, always. But that's just the way I like to operate.

"I've always prided myself on not compromising my own values and what I want to do. So I found that a little bit difficult at times, yeah. It's tough because you're sort of betwixt and between. You so want to be a part of it and then it can't always be how you want it.

"That's the way the role's set up and I know my place within that structure. You either follow it, which I have tried to do over these last 12 months, or you make the choice not to be in it.

"So I'll see out my contract til the end of December. I'm sure there'll be debriefing and setting up for whoever's going to get ready next to take over."

Despite their seemingly irreconcilable relationship, RA chief Castle still paid tribute to Cheika shortly after he the coach had announced his decision.

"On behalf of Rugby Australia, I want to thank Michael for his dedication and service to the role of Wallabies Head Coach since taking up the position in 2014.

"Michael is a passionate and experienced coach who worked tirelessly to get the best out his players. He cares deeply about the Wallabies and the game of Rugby, and always set out with the aim of making Wallabies fans proud of the team's performances.

"Michael came into the role at a turbulent time, and experienced immediate success by taking the Wallabies to a World Cup Final after only one year in the job. He was later given the ultimate recognition for that achievement by being named World Rugby Coach of the Year.

"Now that the Wallabies have exited the tournament, Rugby Australia's Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson will lead a thorough review of the Rugby World Cup campaign and the 2019 season.

"This is an important process which is undertaken at the completion of each tournament or series and this review will examine all aspects of the Wallabies program, from coaching to physical preparation, player fitness, and skill development.

"As expected at the end of a Rugby World Cup year, there are a handful of senior players leaving the Wallabies program and coaching staff coming off contract ahead of next year. There has already been much work completed in preparing for the future in this regard, and that work will also continue until the end of the year."