Chieka to leave Top 14 Club Stade Francais

A Source close to the French Top 14 Rugby club has said that Australian Michael Cheika will not be coach of Stade Francais next season.

“It was decided this morning (Monday) that Michael Cheika will no longer coach the professional team of Stade Francais next season,” the source told AFP, adding that it had not been determined if he were to stay on in another capacity.

Cheika took over as director of rugby at the Parisian club at the start of the 2010/11 season on a two-year contract after spending five years at Leinster, with whom he won the European Cup in 2009.

But the Australian, who played one season at Stade Francais in 1991-1992 and also spent two years at Castres, has failed to revive Stade’s fortunes.

The Parisians finished seventh in this season’s Top 14, missing out on a final play-off spot for the third successive season. It followed their worst ever finish last year since they came back into top-flight rugby in 1997/8.

Cheika has been helped this season by former Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma and ex-scrum-half Christophe Laussucq as forwards and backs coaches respectively, and the duo are being retained by the club.

After a run of inconsistent results culminating in a demoralising 25-9 loss to now-relegated Brive in March, several players took Cheika to task over some of his decisions, later also complaining to president Thomas Savare, at the helm since Max Guazzini stood down last June.

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