You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Don't mention centralisation to Cheika

NZN 17/05/2017 Darren Walton

Michael Cheika is intent on building better relationships with Australia's Super Rugby coaches in a bid to bridge the gap on world champions New Zealand.

But just don't mention the word centralisation to the Wallabies coach.

"Because everyone thinks 'centralisation', we're just going to be like New Zealand, but that's not what we want to do," Cheika told Fox Sports' Kick and Chase program.

New Zealand's 17 from 17 record in trans-Tasman clashes in Super Rugby this season is well documented, and will be top of the agenda at Cheika's meeting of the minds later this month with 1991 World Cup-winning mentor Bob Dwyer and Australia's former long-time coaching director Dick Marks.

The meeting will also include ARU high performance director Ben Whitaker and national skills coach Mick Byrne.

"It's certainly not going to hurt us and we'll probably sit down together in the next couple of weeks and have a look at some ideas," Cheika said.

"We've got good relations with the guys who are coaching in all the (Super Rugby) teams and probably one of the big differences between Australia and New Zealand (performances) might have been that relationship between coaches in the past.

"What we want to do is get the best of what we do and make some suggestions, put those ideas out to teams.

"And even if a coach says to me: 'No way, I'm not doing that' cos he doesn't want to bend the ego a little, maybe he'll think about that in his day to day and then he'll start applying some of that stuff.

"Our role is to keep providing those ideas and keep sticking at it and eventually we'll work a bit more together as the years go on."

Cheika said coaching alignment across the country is crucial for the future health of Australian rugby.

"One of the big things is that when we do have ideas that come from something like this (forum), we've also got to have the ability then to implement them, as opposed to having one for each Super Rugby team.

"So it'll be my job then to try to get whatever might come out of that and go to the Super Rugby coaches and say: 'What do you think about this? What do you think about that?' and try and work out what we can get some consensus on and work together on and what we absolutely can't."

Cheika admits it's impossible to sugar-coat the lack of results from Australia's struggling Super franchises in 2017.

"We have had a tough year, but it was only a year or two ago that we were much more up there on the Super Rugby leaderboard," he said.

"So don't panic. Just understand what the issues are and start rectifying them."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon