TJ Perenara went to war against old rivals Australia 19-times in his All Black career but never once would he have thought the man in the opposition coaching box, would one day go in to bat for him when his All Black career was in doubt.
1 NEWS can reveal it was Cheika who made the initial contact with Perenara regarding a potential code switch to rugby league.
It was also Cheika who convinced Roosters boss Nick Politis and Trent Robinson that the Rugby World Cup winner is the replacement they need for their long-time hooker Jake Friend who recently retired.
1 NEWS spoke to Cheika over the phone however he refused to comment.
1 NEWS can also confirm that a move back home from Japan where he's currently playing is still a possibility for Perenara - although not necessarily with the Hurricanes.
Long-time Hurricanes team-mate and former Warrior, Ngani Laumape has shown his support, taking to Twitter saying Perenara could be the best hooker in the NRL.
That was backed up by Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea, who once teased his own rugby league switch.
Despite many of Perenara’s fellow teammates declaring he could cement himself in the 13-man game, he may not stay long in either code.
It's understood there is a chance Perenara could switch codes on a regular basis, with Chieka set to be moving on to a coaching job in the Japanese Top League.