Rugby Australia apologises to World Rugby

RA chief executive Raelene Castle. Photo: Getty
RA chief executive Raelene Castle. Photo: Getty
Michael Cheika's sendoff from the Wallabies after the World Cup has taken a nosedive.

Rugby Australia has taken the extraordinary step of apologising to World Rugby bosses over the Wallabies' behaviour in Japan.

RA's Kiwi chief executive Raelene Castle wrote an apology to World Rugby after it "expressed concerns about the behaviour of some members of the Wallabies set-up, including head coach Michael Cheika", the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The SMH said Castle was made aware of issues by the Japan organising committee and top rugby officials.

Castle and Cheika had a rocky relationship which involved a heated argument at the Australian embassy in Japan.

The report said that Cheika's "surly" behaviour towards World Rugby and an "us-against-them" attitude trickled down to other members of the Aussie camp.

The written apology related to incidents and public comments which upset the hosts and rugby bosses.

The organising committee regarded the Wallabies as among the most difficult teams to deal with.

Cheika made some bitter public complaints during the tournament, over a three-week suspension on wing Reece Hodge and a penalty for a high ball carry by Samu Kerevi against Wales.

"If there is one bloke World Rugby is not listening to it's me … no matter what language I spoke to them in," Cheika said after the first incident.

The Kerevi situation led him to say: "As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed."

Australia crashed out in the quarterfinals, beaten heavily by England, and Cheika quit the job.

"I think it's no secret that I've pretty much got no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman [Cameron Clyne]," Cheika said.

Castle did not fire back at the time, instead thanking Cheika for his service. New Zealander Dave Rennie is the new Wallaby coach.

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