Sydney-born, Cheika was an Australia Under-21 cap in his playing days before enjoying huge success as a coach – he remains the only coach to have won a major competition in the northern and southern hemispheres after leading Leinster to the European Cup in 2009 and then NSW Waritahs to the Super Rugby title in 2014.
Cheika took the Wallabies to the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup in England and we caught up with him on a visit to Hotspur Way ahead of this summer’s Test series against England.
“You are going to one of the great sport cities in the world,” said Michael. “Not only are the venues fantastic - the MCG, an historic venue for all Australian sports fan - but the people in Melbourne love their sport.
“It will be a great opportunity to see great football teams playing in a wonderful amphitheatre. You couldn’t ask for a better way to see the top teams in Europe playing football than at the MCG.”
Below: The MCG packed to the rafters for the Boxing Day Ashes Test, 2013
We play our International Champions League (ICC) matches against Juventus (July 26) and Atletico Madrid (July 29) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Tickets available here...
Built all the way back in 1853, the MCG is right up there among the world’s iconic sporting venues and has played host to countless historic sporting moments, particularly in cricket, where it is famed for its annual Boxing Day Test, with over 90,000 packing the stands.
“As we all grew up, even us guys from Sydney, we all loved the MCG,” added Michael. “It’s the site of so many famous matches, especially for the Australian cricket team with the Boxing Day Tests and everything that means.
“Then there’s all the AFL (Aussie Rules) fans, all the big matches there and rugby’s had some huge days there as well, thinking about Bledisloe Cup matches (Australia v New Zealand) over the years.
“It’s such an historic venue and the players are fortunate to get a taste of it.
"There aren’t that many soccer players around who will get to have a taste of the MCG and it will be a great experience for them.”
Below: England took on and famously beat the Wallabies at Melbourne's AAMI Park in June - we'll train there next week