Rugby league greats Greg Alexander and Corey Parker have thrown their support behind Michael Cheika, who has recently revealed his interest in becoming an NRL coach.
Cheika, who is the head coach of Argentina’s rugby union side, has guided Lebanon to a quarterfinal in the Rugby League World Cup.
It’s not his first taste of rugby league though, having worked for the Roosters as an Adviser to Trent Robinson in 2020.
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Cheika told Fox League a fortnight ago that switching to the NRL would be an “awesome challenge” and with Lebanon gearing up for a quarterfinal clash with Australia, Alexander and Parker have even more belief in him.
Asked if Cheika was capable of the code switch, Parker said: “100 per cent yes.
“He’s shown through this World Cup campaign his ability to be able to adapt,” he added.
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“A head coach, you need some technicalities and he’s spoken openly about learning those technicalities of rugby league but at the end of the day it’s a transition style game, the same as rugby.
“How you want to transition between attack and defence generally helps in regards to going onto win. He’s extremely capable.”
Meanwhile, Alexander declared: “Michael Cheika would make a great NRL coach and I think it would be great for the game if he made the switch.”
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However, legendary forward Nathan Hindmarsh believes NRL clubs should promote from within the game first before looking at rival codes.
“I’d like to go look in our own backyard before we start searching somewhere else. He’s a great coach but does being a representative union coach qualify you?” he said on Fox League’s World Cup preview show.
But Alexander argued that Cheika is passionate enough about the game to be successful.
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“When you know him and when you know how much he loves rugby league and how long he’s followed the game… What makes a good coach?”
Hindmarsh interjected with: “It’s man management
“That’s right,” Alexander responded.
“It’s not what you know on the field and I think he knows enough about the game to cover himself as a first grade coach.”
Lebanon kicked off their first World Cup campaign under Cheika with a 34-12 loss to New Zealand but defeated Ireland 32-14 and then smashed Jamaica 74-12.
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