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Fans react to Michael Cheika's new appointment

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Jun 27, 2024

Earlier today it was confirmed that former Argentina and Australia head coach Michael Cheika would join former English champions Leicester Tigers as their new head coach.

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The midlands-based side has been under the stewardship of fellow Aussie Dan McKellar after the England international team acquired the services of both Steve Borthwick and former interim coach Richard Wigglesworth last year.

Just last week, McKellar vacated his position as leader of the Tigers, with a statement from the club suggesting that the decision was “mutually agreed following extensive discussions regarding the club’s future direction.”

This has opened the door for the vastly experienced Michael Cheika, an appointment that has filled fans with plenty of excitement and anticipation ahead of the new season.

“Honestly, I wasn’t looking at the Premiership and didn’t have the desire to coach in it until Leicester Tigers came to me,” Cheika said about his appointment.

“But, the opportunity to coach at Tigers and lead this group of players turned my head.”

“I want this to be my best coaching yet. I want the preparation and the way we lead the team, to be at my best level. If I can bring my best level, other people will bring their best level and good things will start to happen around us.

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“Everybody can see that it is a top-quality roster the club has. I am not going to lie and say I know every single one of them down to their bones but that’s what I will do over the next few months, to learn how to get the best out of them.

“But, the roster is only paper. It’s now about how the team gels, how to put these really good players and characters together and get them playing in a way that they love it and a way they love going out there, together, and representing Leicester Tigers.”

On the appointment of Cheika Leicester Tigers CEO Andrea Pinchen said: “We are very pleased to be able to appoint someone of Michael’s experience and history with success to the role of head coach.”

“He has, over more than two decades, achieved great success in winning trophies but also developing players, developing coaches and galvanising groups to be the best they can be.

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“We want that, we need that and believe Michael is the right person to take this team, this club back to where we know we should be.

“I also accept that the past week is not what fans expected, and nor did we, but the decisions we have made are for the long-term benefit of Leicester Tigers and after lengthy, detailed and very honest conversations with Michael in recent days, we are on the same page about what is now necessary to see this club back on top.”

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Line out action as the sun sets during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Leicester Tigers and London Irish at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Leicester, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Fans have been overwhelmingly positive about the new signing, with most seeing it as a clear indication of intention moving forward. Here are some of the messages on X that the appointment has generated:

“Long-term Cheika fan here! Congrats what a fabulous appointment.”

“Certainly a statement appointment, but then again McKellar felt like a statement appointment. Hopefully he will get the time and support.”

“On paper it looks a great appointment…… my only concern is he wasn’t looking at the premiership etc, has coaching tigers turned his head or is it what he is getting paid?? Hope it works out and definitely one that should excite everyone”

“Feels like quite a coup for Tigers to sign such a prestigious international head coach like Cheika. Suspect he’s going to be very successful at Welford Road. Good luck to him”

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