Departures are not a worry to Australian coach Michael Cheika

Australia coach Michael Cheika is unfazed about a possible mass exodus of players after next year’s World Cup following the departures of veterans James Horwill and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Michael Cheika, pictured in August 2, 2014 after coacing the New South Wales Waratahs past the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super 15 rugby union final in Sydney.  Now coaching the Australian national team, Cheika says Australia makes make its leagues 'so good that players don't want to leave, because they are enjoying themselves and getting what they want out of rugby". William West / AFP
Michael Cheika, pictured in August 2, 2014 after coacing the New South Wales Waratahs past the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super 15 rugby union final in Sydney. Now coaching the Australian national team, Cheika says Australia makes make its leagues 'so good that players don't want to leave, because they are enjoying themselves and getting what they want out of rugby". William West / AFP

Australia coach Michael Cheika is unfazed about a possible mass exodus of players after next year’s World Cup following the departures of veterans James Horwill and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

Lock James Horwill, captain at the last World Cup, on Wednesday agreed to a three-year contract with Harlequins as he prepares for his first spell in English rugby.

On the same day, French Top 14 side Bordeaux-Begles announced they had agreed a two-year deal with winger Ashley-Cooper.

The two men, who will leave after the 2015 World Cup, have played more than 150 Tests between them and they follow the moves that have seen Kane Douglas, Nick Cummins, Berrick Barnes and Matt Giteau all leave Australia.

Cheika said he was “not at all” concerned about the threat of losing vital talent in 2016.

The Wallabies coach said it was up to him and the Australian Rugby Union to make playing for their country more appealing than chasing big bucks elsewhere.

“We want to make sure that our environments, both in Super Rugby and in the Australian team, are so good that players don’t want to leave, because they’re enjoying themselves and they’re getting what they want out of rugby,” he said.

Cheika said he had no issues with veterans such as Ashley-Cooper and Horwill heading to more lucrative pastures following the bid for Rugby World Cup success in England next autumn.

“I don’t think either of those guys are going because they are not happy with something,” he said. “Some players come to the time in their careers when this is the move that they want to make.”

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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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