Report: Michael Cheika and Raelene Castle involved in 'ugly' altercation

Publish Date
Wed, 23 Oct 2019, 9:12PM
Michael Cheika and Raelene Castle. (Photos / Photosport)
Michael Cheika and Raelene Castle. (Photos / Photosport)

Report: Michael Cheika and Raelene Castle involved in 'ugly' altercation

Publish Date
Wed, 23 Oct 2019, 9:12PM

Michael Cheika and Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle got into a heated verbal altercation just days before the Wallabies' crucial World Cup clash against Wales, according to a report.

Cheika, who announced on Monday that he was quitting as Wallabies coach, was involved in an "ugly" argument with RA's Kiwi boss Castle at a corporate event at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo on September 25, four days before the Wallabies' 29-25 loss to Wales in their crucial pool match.

According to Fox Sport Australia, the now departing coach was believed to be angry with Castle for going behind his back through RA director of rugby Scott Johnson to request players to attend the function at the embassy.

Cheika had declined Castle's request for players to attend the function, which would've meant a 90 minutes trip to the embassy from the team hotel, because of the importance of their upcoming match with Wales.

Castle reportedly then asked Johnson to request that non-selected players attend the function at the Tokyo Bay embassy.

Cheika and the players ended up going to the function but when Castle approached the Wallabies coach to thank him for coming, he snapped at her, according to the report.

The duo then got into an "ugly verbal altercation for around two minutes" and "stinging personal words" were said.

Former Wallaby Morgan Turninui had to step in to break up the public scrap at the event attended by about 60 people.

The revelation comes after Cheika took a swipe at Castle earlier this week after confirming that he will be quitting as head coach after the Wallabies' 40-16 quarter-final loss to England.

Cheika has had a rocky relationship with the country's rugby administration, having been subject to a review this time last year after a poor 2018 season which resulted in the sacking of attack coach Stephen Larkham – although his relationship with Castle was thought to be amicable.

The 2018 review brought on the appointment of Johnson and Michael O'Connor as Wallabies selectors alongside Cheika, something that didn't sit well with the 52-year-old coach.

Cheika saved one parting shot for Castle and the Rugby Australia administration after announcing his departure.

"It's no secret I've pretty much got no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman," he said.

"Scott's a lovely bloke and I get on fine with him but I'm not really into that type of thing, I like to take that responsibility.

"Not that my way's definitely the right way, I'm definitely not saying that but that's just the way I like to operate.

"I've always prided myself on not compromising my own values and what I want to do so I found that a little bit difficult at times.

"It's tough because you're sort of betwixt and between, you so want to be a part of it and then sometimes it can't always be how you wanted but that's the way the role's set up and I know my place within that structure.

"So you either follow it, which I've tried to do over this last 12 months or you make the choice not to be in it."

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