The West

Force s fingers crossed over Cheika
Force's fingers crossed over Cheika

The Western Force are hopeful that Michael Cheika has not closed the door on their offer to coach the Super Rugby club for the next two years.

Cheika has rejected the initial deal to replace Richard Graham who quit for the Queensland Reds mid-season.

The Force are still talking with Cheika who won the Heineken Cup with Leinster before moving to Stade Francais but he may be difficult to budge.

The club is also preparing to re-open talks with other short-listed candidates if the cannot secure Cheika's signature.

The most likely replacement would be former Force foundation assistant coach John Mulvihill who could be the key to retaining captain and Wallabies star flanker David Pocock.

Others interested in the job were former Wales coach and current Scotland assistant Scott Johnson and ex-Ireland and USA coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

Waratahs coach Michael Foley had talks with the Force but ended discussions when he was guaranteed another year at the Super franchise.

The Force were hoping to announce Cheika as their coach to the players before their end of season break.

Those plans are now in disarray, adding to their poor on-field season and a year of off-field dramas that included the loss of Graham and the resignation of fly-half Willie Ripia.

The West Australian

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