February 28, 2018 / 12:51 AM / 22 days ago

I'm off if Wallabies don't win World Cup, says Cheika

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia coach Michael Cheika says he will walk away at the end of his contract next year if the Wallabies don’t win the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

FILE PHOTO - Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - England vs Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 18, 2017 Australia head coach Michael Cheika as his players practice a scrum before the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Cheika took Australia to the final of the last tournament in England in 2015 so believes anything less than a victory in Yokohama on Nov. 2 next year would represent a lack of progress.

“The way I see it is like this: we came second in the last one and you have got to improve,” he told Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph.

“So there is only winning the World Cup, otherwise it is probably somebody else’s opportunity to do it.

“What I would like to do in the interim is leave enough legacy in there so that that person has the best possible chance to do it as well.”

Cheika took over from Ewen McKenzie in 2014 and won the World Rugby coach of the year award after Australia’s run to the final the following season.

His team has struggled at times since as he has overhauled his squad in preparation for 2019, introducing a host of new players to international rugby.

The Wallabies have won 24 of his 45 matches in charge, including a victory over the world champion All Blacks in Brisbane last year.

Cheika said he had been entirely focussed on creating the structures to ensure long-term success for his country during his time in the job.

“I want to be up in the stand in the future, watching Australia play and watching them kill it and play well,” Cheika told the paper.

“I think people think that’s garbage sometimes, that I say that. But that’s genuine.

“So, in a World Cup, that’s a good chance to leave and to leave behind the legacy that you’ve built in the interim.

“That’s the target. You have to do better. And doing better is coming first.”

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by...

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