Michael Cheika says he’s just getting started as he prepares to set the Wallabies up for Rugby World Cup success in Japan in 2019.
Cheika received a huge accolade for his transformation of the Wallabies in his first year at the helm by landing coach of the year gong at the World Rugby Awards dinner in London on Sunday night, ahead of his World Cup-winning All Blacks rival Steve Hansen.
Cheika, who is off contract as Wallabies coach in 2017, stopped short of committing to being in charge in four years time.
But, considering the team’s progress to become World Cup finalists in his 12 months in charge, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) would be wise to open negotiations on a new, extended deal to take in the 2019 World Cup.
Cheika said his short-term and long-term goals remained the same: making the Wallabies stronger every chance he gets.
“I want the team to be in the position to do well at the next World Cup,” Cheika said, when asked if he’d be in charge in 2019.
“I’m signed until ’17 and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the team does well in its play and how we represent the game in Australia between now and then.
“I want this year’s team to leave next year’s team something to work with and so on.
“Then whatever happens from there we’re going to be in good shape as a nation to kick on and keep improving the game.
“By the time we get to ’19 the goal will be to have the depth to cover all possible scenarios and we’ve got rugby players who are playing good rugby and representing their country well.
“…We can make the game better in Australia at international level and provincial level, and also our own team, the way we play, our results, and the support behind us.