The last four days in Australian rugby has seen a lot of name-calling and finger pointing between coaches, the media and most importantly the public. Ewen Mckenzie's resignation genuinely shocked the Australian rugby scene and while numerous factions have bickered over a myriad of topics, there has been one thing that all parties have agreed upon.
The best replacement for Mckenzie was Michael Cheika.
Since the minute Mckenzie's resignation was announced, people around the country have been saying "surely Chieka gets the job," and those people were correct. At 12:30 today the ARU announced that Cheika has signed a three year deal to be the national coach. Most importantly however, Cheika will continue to coach the Waratahs in 2015 until his contract ends.
This is unprecedented.
With the Wallabies departing for Europe on Friday, Cheika is going to have to balance a brand new job and all the responsibilities that come with it, whilst also preparing for the Waratah's title defence.
Obviously this is not going to be easy and anyone who claims to know what will happen has no idea. If Cheika can somehow manage to win the Super Rugby with the Waratahs and the World Cup with the Wallabies in the same year, it will go down as one of the greatest coaching feats of all time. It also has the potential to go horribly wrong. As soon as one of his sides starts losing, the media have unlimited ammunition to say his focus is elsewhere, whilst this won't phase Cheika, in the Wallabies job public perception matters a lot.
What we do know is that the Wallabies have hired the best man manager in Australian rugby. It became apparent this year that anyone in Cheika's Waratah's squad would take a bullet for him, and if he can galvanise the Wallabies in the same way we could be in for a treat.
Everyone knows the talent is there in Australian Rugby, just like it has always been at the Waratahs. Here's hoping we see similar results.