Michael Cheika’s conduct during Australia’s 30-6 defeat by England at Twickenham has been referred for investigation by World Rugby.
The Wallabies head coach was infuriated by a number of refereeing decisions and when a Michael Hooper try was disallowed in the first half, he appeared to mouth “fucking genius” in reference to the decision made by the referee Ben O’Keeffe.
When asked during a broadcast interview if he had actually called O’Keeffe a “fucking cheat”, Cheika ended the interview. On two occasions he walked down the steps from the coaches’ box to the touchline to remonstrate with officials and received abuse from supporters that he described as a “gobful” that was “not pleasant”, at one point resulting in a verbal exchange with a fan.
Jon Davis, the disciplinary officer for the autumn internationals, is looking into his behaviour on Saturday afternoon. “Following various media reports and a referral from World Rugby, the comments and conduct attributed to Michael Cheika are being investigated. An update will be issued soon”, read a statement issued by the body that oversees disciplinary matters for the November Tests.
Michael Cheika is an Australian rugby union coach and a former rugby player. He is currently the head coach of the Australian national team. Cheika has Lebanese ancestry. He is the only coach to have won the major rugby club competition in each hemisphere, winning the Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009 and the Super Rugby competition with the New South Wales Waratahs in 2014. During his career, Cheika was also head coach at Padova, Randwick and Stade Français.
Cheika married in June 2008. He and his wife Stephanie have four children. He is a fan of the South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League team. Cheika was a No. 8 who played for Australia at under 21 level. He played more than 300 games for Randwick, winning the Shute Shield seven times during a period when the Galloping Greens dominated Sydney rugby.