A product of Randwick Rugby Club, Michael Cheika’s meteoric rise in the coaching ranks gained the ultimate recognition in 2015 when he was awarded World Rugby Coach of the Year after Australia’s campaign at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Cheika completely transformed Australia’s fortunes over the course of the 2015 international season, moving the Qantas Wallabies from sixth to second place in the world rankings after guiding the men in gold to a maiden Rugby Championship title and a World Cup Final berth.
A successful businessman in his own right before taking up his first coaching role with Padova (Italy) in 1999, Cheika has coached all over the world including at some of the biggest Clubs in Europe. His most notable success abroad came at Leinster, whom he coached from 2005-2009, where led the Irish side to the European title in 2009.
He then took over Stade Francais in the French Top 14 competition from 2010 until he announced that he would return home to take the helm at the New South Wales Waratahs.
After beginning in the role in 2013, it took Cheika just two seasons to make that wish a reality, as the Waratahs went on to defeat the competition’s most successful team, the Crusaders, in a gripping Super Rugby Final in 2014. In doing so, Cheika etched his name in coaching history by becoming the first coach to win the major provincial Rugby trophies in each hemisphere.
His transformational success at the Waratahs was then repeated with the Wallabies, after he assumed the role of National Coach for the 2014 Spring Tour. During his first nine months in charge of the Wallabies, he continued in his role with the Waratahs and once again took the team to the post-season in 2015.
At the end of that year, the performance of the Qantas Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup, where the Aussies topped the so-called “pool of death” and went on to reach the Final, cemented Cheika’s growing reputation among the game’s great mentors.
Michael Cheika currently resides in Sydney with his wife, Steph and their four children.