Australia: Michael Cheika 'in talks' over coach role after McKenzie exit

New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika
Cheika was a Number eight who represented Australia at U-21 level

Michael Cheika says he has been offered the chance to succeed Ewen McKenzie as Australia coach.

McKenzie resigned on Saturday after 15 months at the helm, following the Bledisloe Cup defeat by New Zealand.

Australian officials hope to name his replacement before the team leave for their tour of Europe on Friday.

"There are a few things to be ironed out, everything being so close," said Cheika, 47, who guided New South Wales Waratahs to the Super Rugby title.

"So we will see how it goes and work it out from there. It's a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we'll see what happens."

Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said a caretaker coach would be considered for next month's tour - which sees the Wallabies play the Barbarians, Wales, France, Ireland and England - if it was not possible to make a permanent appointment in time.

Australia northern hemisphere Tests
1 November Barbarians, Twickenham8 November Wales, Millennium Stadium
15 November France, Stade de France22 November Ireland, Aviva Stadium
29 November England, Twickenham

Cheika, who also led Irish province Leinster to a Heineken Cup triumph in 2009, still has a year remaining on his contract at the Waratahs.

Their chief executive Jason Allen said the club would insist he remained in his current job as well as coaching the national team, but added: "We would fully endorse and support Michael if he was offered that role."

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