Rugby Australia to decide on Cheika's future as coach by Christmas

Sydney (AFP) –


Rugby Australia will decide the fate of under-fire Michael Cheika and his coaching staff "ahead of Christmas", chairman Cameron Clyne said Monday after an end-of-season review, following a disappointing year for the team.

Cheika has been under growing pressure after a poor season, with recent losses to England and Wales, and an uninspiring win over Italy.

In a brief statement that lasted less than one minute to reporters after the meeting in Sydney, Clyne said the board would conduct a review before making a decision in the next two weeks.

"We've had a presentation from Michael, we've had some data gathered from him, from his coaching staff, from his players and from our high performance unit and we need to go through a fairly thorough review process," he said, without taking questions.

"We've got all the information we need and we'll be going through that process.

"I know people are very keen to know what's going on but I felt it was important to at least let you know where we are in that process and obviously we'll have more to say and have that process wrapped up ahead of Christmas."

A source told The Sydney Morning Herald that player feedback was "mixed", with support for Michael Hooper as Test captain but concerns over the team's culture, communication and organisation.

Cheika's contract is due to run out in a year and he had previously received the backing of Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle to take the Wallabies to the World Cup in Japan.