Australia: Michael Cheika named Wallabies coach

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

Former Leinster boss Michael Cheika has been named the new coach of Australia.

His appointment comes after Ewen McKenzie quit on Saturday after 15 months at the helm following disappointing results on the pitch and controversy off it.

Cheika led the New South Wales Waratahs to the Super Rugby title last season.

He will see out the final year of his contract at the Waratahs while preparing the Wallabies for the World Cup in England in 2015.

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief Bill Pulver was "delighted" to confirm the news, adding: "We believe that Michael is the man to lead Australia to victory at next year's World Cup."

The Australia squad departs on Friday for their tour of Europe, with Tests against Wales, France, England and Ireland. The ARU would have considered a caretaker coach if a permanent appointment had not be made on time.

"I am going to have to work hard and learn quickly but I am up for the challenge," said Cheika, who coached Leinster to the 2009 Heineken Cup.

McKenzie's resignation came in the midst of a crisis involving utility back Kurtley Beale, who is accused of sending offensive text messages about a team official.

Beale could have his contract torn up if found guilty of misconduct charges.

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

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