Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has agreed to a contract extension that will see him through to the end of 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Cheika, who guided Australia to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, signed at two-year extension 18 months before his current deal was due to expire.
• Campbell Brown: Gold Coast paying the price for bad decisions
• Maria Sharapova’s drugs hearing held in top secret as media shut out
• Footy world shocked as new details emerge in Roughead’s cancer fight
“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 though to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan,” Cheika said in a statement.
“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.
“It is a privilege to be associated with the people involved with our national team and playing my part in establishing the Wallabies identity for the years to come and for many years after that.”
Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive Bill Pulver said he was thrilled to have Cheika re-commit to the Wallabies.
“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,” he said.
“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 performance of the Wallabies at the World Cup put rugby back on the map in a huge way in Australia and you cannot understate the influence Michael has had, along with his fine coaching team, in igniting the passion of Australian rugby fans with the way the team performed both on and off the field during the tournament.”