Stade put faith in Australian Cheika - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stade put faith in Australian Cheika

By Simon Valmary 20/03/2010 07:52:52 AM Comments (0)

Under-performing Top 14 rugby giants Stade Francais will from next season put their faith in Australian coach Michael Cheika, who last season led Leinster to European Cup glory.

The 43-year-old Cheika, who played one season at Stade Francais in 1991-1992 and also spent two years at Castres, will leave Leinster after five years in the post and is keen to create a "culture of excellence" in Paris.

The Australian will take responsibility for all sporting matters on a three-year-contract, the Parisian club said in a statement.

"After my experience with Leinster, I wanted to have a project with a club which has an ambition and which wants to build something in the future," Cheika told AFP.

"It's a good challenge for me because at Leinster we also created a culture of excellence to put the club in a position to look for victory every day."

Cheika played down Stade's recent stumbling form that has seen them slip to eighth spot in the Top 14 and likely to miss the final phase of the French league for the first time since 2002.

"In every team, in every business, in every government, there are bad periods. The important thing is how you react when things aren't going well to put things back in order.

"And bear in mind that Stade Francais are in the European Cup quarter-finals - they're a big European club."

Cheika said it was too early to talk about wholesale changes in players.

Current Stade coach Jacques Delmas confirmed on Thursday that he would not be at the Parisian club next season.

Delmas was taken on last September after the sacking of Ewen McKenzie who went on to revive Queensland in the southern hemisphere's Super 14.

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