The sources told the Herald the apology was related to comments made by Cheika about World Rugby and referees during the early stages of the tournament as well as issues with Australian management during the team’s five-week stint in Japan.
Members of the Japanese organising committee who were upset about the Australians’ behaviour conveyed their concerns about the attitude of some within the Wallabies group to World Rugby.
A survey of members of the organising committee during the World Cup resulted in the Wallabies being marked down as one of the most difficult teams to work with at the tournament.
Castle, wanting to get on the front foot, did her best to clear the air and make peace following a forgettable World Cup on and off the field.
Early in the campaign, Cheika expressed his bewilderment at the decision to hand Wallabies winger Reece Hodge a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Fiji’s Peceli Yato.
“If there is one bloke World Rugby is not listening to it’s me,” Cheika said. “No matter what language I spoke to them in.
“There is a bit of us versus everyone else. You know and we know that. So we are not going to let it derail us.”
Then when Samu Kerevi was penalised against Wales for carrying the ball up and striking Rhys Patchell high, Cheika lashed out.
“When our guy makes that tackle and has the high tackle framework in his head, he gets suspended,” Cheika said. “This guy doesn’t think about the high tackle framework and we get penalised.
“As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed.”
It is unclear whether Castle spoke directly to Cheika after these comments, which did not go down well at World Rugby headquarters.
A day after telling reporters they were callous for asking about his coaching future, Cheika resigned as coach. He then said he had “pretty much no relationship” with Castle and “not much” with RA chairman Cameron Clyne.
Sources suggest Cheika’s surly attitude towards World Rugby and overall “us-against-them” demeanour filtered down to other members of the Australian setup.
Tom Decent is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald