Cheika can return Wallabies to number one in the world - O'Driscoll


Michael Cheika has the ability to make Australia the number one side in world rugby, according to Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll.

Former centre O'Driscoll played under Cheika for five years at Leinster, a period that included a Heineken Cup victory in 2009, defeating Leicester Tigers in the final.

Cheika was appointed Australia coach in October 2014 and within a year had turned around the team's struggling fortunes - leading them to the World Cup final, where they were defeated by a superb New Zealand outfit.

His next assignment is a three-match home series with England, beginning on Saturday, and O'Driscoll believes Cheika is the perfect man to lead Australia to long-term domination of the world game.

"I actually know Michael Cheika very well, I think it [keeping Cheika on] has been great business from an Australian rugby point of view," O'Driscoll told Omnisport.

"He has done wonders for the Australian side in such a short time, within 12 months he got them to a World Cup final, and I think they were beaten by the world number one and the better team and rightly so in New Zealand.

"But knowing Cheika as a personality, and as someone who doesn't accept mediocrity or being second best, he'll be away hatching a plan to try and turn Australia into a super power in world rugby again and get them back to the number one spot.

"I think he was able to take a team like Leinster, which I was involved with, from a pretty poor place and make them European champions.

"I could see him doing something similar with the Australians, such is the player pool and the quality of the individuals that he is dealing with on a daily basis.

"So yeah it's smart business. From both his perspective and the ARU's [Australian Rugby Union's] perspective."