Waratahs coach Cheika given suspended six-month ban

Former Leinster coach admitted abusing cameraman during Super 15 match

 Michael Cheika admitted using “stern” language on at least one occasion.

Michael Cheika admitted using “stern” language on at least one occasion.


The former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has been given a suspended six-month ban by Super Rugby’s governing body after he admitted abusing a cameraman in South Africa during a Super Rugby match between his current club, the Waratahs, and the Sharks.

Cheika, who guided Leinster to their first Heineken Cup success during his time in Dublin, was charged with misconduct for using crude, insulting or abusive language, a breach of Sanzar’s code of conduct, during the Waratahs defeat to the Sharks in Durban.

Judicial officer Nigel Hampton found that Cheika had abused the cameraman at least twice shortly after halftime, with accompanied finger pointing, and swore at him on at least one further occasion.

He also found Cheika’s evidence “unconvincing”, that false accusations and fabricated witness evidence were made on his behalf, but that while the abuse was unprovoked and disturbing, it was not threatening.

“This matter bears a number of striking similarities with past instances, particularly the use of foul and abusive language towards those charged with running a match and the propensity of Mr Cheika to behave in this manner is disturbing,” Hampton said.

“Given his previous record and the factual findings of the investigation, I regard this as a serious offence and do not see it as a result of any provocation, nor is there any excuse for it.”

Cheika admitted using “stern” language on at least one occasion.

The ban is suspended until August 31st, 2015, with Cheika ordered to pay costs and apologise to the cameraman.

Cheika was given a warning by Sanzar during the 2013 season and was handed a large fine for abusing match officials during and after Stade Francais’ loss to Harlequins in the final of the 2011 Amlin Cup, Europe’s second-tier rugby competition.

Two weeks before the Sharks match Cheika, who was given 48-hours to appeal the decision, broke a glass door at Canberra Stadium.

Meanwhile, Munster’s Donnacha Ryan is looking increasingly likely to miss out on Ireland’s summer tour to Argentina after suffering a setback in his recovery from a foot injury.

Ryan had initially hoped to make it back in time to take part in Munster’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Toulon last weekend, but now coach Rob Penney has ruled him out of this weekend’s Pro12 clash with Edinburgh.

Munster’s final regular season game takes place on Saturday week against Ulster but it is unclear whether he will be able to play a part then or in the play-offs.

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