Cheika under no pressure whatsoever - ARU boss Pulver


Michael Cheika is "under no pressure" and remains the man to lead the Wallabies at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, says Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive Bill Pulver.

After finishing as runners-up at the World Cup last year, Australia suffered nine defeats in their 15 Tests in 2016.

The Wallabies lost four times to England, including being on the receiving end of a 3-0 whitewash in a home series against Eddie Jones' side in June, three times to arch-rivals New Zealand, as well as going down against South Africa and Ireland.

But despite Australia's disappointing form, Cheika still has the backing of the ARU boss.

"Believe me, Michael Cheika is under no pressure. None whatsoever," Pulver said in Perth, where he confirmed the city will host its first Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks at a new 60,000-seat venue in 2019.

"He's the coach through to 2019, and there's no one better to do the job.

"I'm not pleased to have lost nine Test matches and boy, let me tell you, Cheika isn't either. But there are really encouraging signs in terms of talent coming through.

"One of Michael's focus points is to make sure you've got multiple players competing for the one position, and that leads to better performances and outcomes.

"I think we're getting there [and] if you look at this as a long-term game towards the 2019 World Cup, I think rugby fans are quietly comfortable with the way we're developing players."

On Perth hosting a Test against New Zealand in 2019, Pulver added: "We are very proud to be bringing Western Australia its first ever Bledisloe Cup Test and are very grateful for the support of the WA Government, through Tourism Western Australia, which has enabled us to make this historic match a reality.

"The 2019 Bledisloe Cup match will be one of the first major events played at the new Perth Stadium after its completion in 2018.

"It will also be a vital clash for both teams, being their one and only clash in the Rugby Championship that year, on the eve of the Rugby World Cup."