Michael Cheika to remain as Australia coach until 2019

Contract extension runs until end of World Cup in Japan

Australia coach Michael Cheika has signed a contract extension through until the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The former Leinster coach, who took over from Ewen McKenzie at the end of 2014, guided the Wallabies to last year’s World Cup final in his first full year in charge.

"We could not be more delighted to have secured Michael's services as national coach until at least the end of the rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019," ARU boss Bill Pulver said in a media release on Thursday.

“Obviously his record as Wallabies coach over the past 18 months speaks for itself, but it’s the wonderful culture and a renewed pride in the gold jersey that Michael has instilled in the team which has laid the foundation for continued success.”

The only coach to have won a Super Rugby championship and a Heineken Cup at club level, Cheika will turn his sights to defeating England in the June internationals and winning back the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trans-Tasman trophy held by the world champion All Blacks since 2003.

“I never imagined I would be in the position of coaching Australia and feel extremely honoured to have the opportunity to continue on for the next period through to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan,” said the 49-year-old, a former backrower at Sydney’s famous Randwick club.

“Along with the other members of our team, I will be doing my absolute best to ensure that every game that the Australian rugby team plays between now and then fills the nation with pride and all Australians can watch the Wallabies play in a way that Australians want to see rugby played.”