Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson with Waratahs coach Michael Cheika during the Sydney Roosters rugby league and Waratahs rugby combined training session at Moore Park, Sydney. Pic Brett Costello
Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson with Waratahs coach Michael Cheika during the Sydney Roosters rugby league and Waratahs rugby combined training session at Moore Park, Sydney. Pic Brett Costello

Michael Chooka: Ex-Wallabies boss joins NRL premiers

Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has switched codes with the decorated rugby mentor joining the Sydney Roosters' coaching staff.

Cheika has been at the Roosters for the past month after sharing a long friendship with three-time premiership-winning coach Trent Robinson. Cheika is working with the Roosters' coaches and is also spending time developing the players' attacking skills.

Robinson told The Daily Telegraph he was keen to learn off the ex-Australian coach.

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Robinson is using Cheika’s experience and leadership from the Wallabies. Photo: Brett Costello
Robinson is using Cheika’s experience and leadership from the Wallabies. Photo: Brett Costello

 

"He is helping push myself and the assistant coaches to improve and challenging our ideas and helping push us again in 2020," Robinson said.

"He is also a really skilful attacking style of coach as well. We are taking anything we can learn from his style of coaching and his attacking mindset.

"Cheiks (Cheika) loves the footy environment. He is a rugby union coach but he grew up in the Eastern Suburbs and he just loves footy, whether it's union or league.

"He brings a depth of knowledge with a real simple punch to his delivery. He is very good at delivering messages."

 

 

It’s a nice change for Cheika after the Wallabies pressure. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images
It’s a nice change for Cheika after the Wallabies pressure. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

 

Robinson and Cheika's long-term friendship dates back to when both were coaching teams in France in 2011-12.

The Wallabies and the Roosters had an opposed training session in 2016. Robinson also visited the Wallabies in Europe in 2014 when Cheika was leading Australia.

Cheika is at Moore Park about once a week with the open-ended role expected to last until at least the end of pre-season.

"I have always valued his advice," Robinson said. "That will continue. He will obviously go off into different things at different times but it will be good to have him around and challenging us.

"The man can coach. He has won a Super Rugby title, a Heineken Cup and coached in a World Cup final. He has a wealth of knowledge."

 

 

It’s a new perspective for the Roosters ahead of the new season. Photo: Simon Bullard
It’s a new perspective for the Roosters ahead of the new season. Photo: Simon Bullard

 

 

Cheika grew up playing rugby league and played for the Roosters in the under-18 SG Ball competition before switching to rugby. It is Cheika's first major coaching appointment since quitting as Wallabies coach after last year's world cup.

Cheika - a South Sydney fan - said rugby league was a "big part of my upbringing".

"Trent asked me to do some very specific stuff with a couple of the coaches and specific areas," Cheika said.

"He has got me on a few projects. I've loved it. I was really honoured that they thought I could contribute. I want to make sure the stuff I'm doing is contributing the way Trent wants me to.

"I've really enjoyed being involved with the lads. The coaches are fine men and the players are good lads.

 

 

 

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"I give a different set of eyes and ideas. Some stuff they can use other stuff they can put in the bin. I'm doing it for my own development too. If I keep learning I can keep getting better. You can see why they've been successful because of their culture. It's nice for me to be around

"It was pouring rain the other day (when we were on the training paddock). Just seeing the guys go hard, it was nice to be out there.

"If I can contribute to what they are hoping to do as a club, I'll be stoked."

Robinson has always looked to other sports for improvement. He has a close bond with Sydney Swans coach John Longmire with the pair travelling to Qatar in 2018 on a fact finding mission.

Robinson has also spent time coaching the NSW Swifts and shares a friendship with Australian cricketer Steve Smith who was in the dressing rooms after the Roosters grand final win last year.


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