How 'broken' Wallabies will be fixed
SPOTLIGHT: Fixing the game in Australia will require more, much more, than just a cursory ‘band-aid’.
This much is clear from the key recommendations of a review into the Wallabies 2019 season and failed World Cup campaign.
The review – which made in excess of 40 recommendations – was conducted by a three-person panel – consisting of former Wallaby and experienced sports administrator Pat Howard, four-time Olympian and leading High-Performance professional Bo Hanson and 116-Test former Wallaby captain Nathan Sharpe.
While the governing body, Rugby Australia, provided no details from the report, it admitted that the administration of the game was in dire need of repair.
“While it is important that the rugby public understands the outcomes of the review, we must also respect the confidentiality and integrity of the process which presents a blueprint for future Wallabies success,” RA Chief Executive Raelene Castle said in a media release.
One of the key points was the need for “greater alignment between the Wallabies and Rugby Australia administration, so that each could be more aware of team and organisational priorities”.
Former coach Cheika, who quit after the Wallabies’ quarterfinal exit at the World Cup, made no secret of his fractured relationship with RA – especially the CEO, Castle, and Chairman Cameron Clyne.
In fact, it emerged that Cheika and Castle engaged in a heated argument at a function in the Australian embassy in Tokyo during the World Cup.
Cheika also said he did not have ‘much of a relationship’ with Clyne.
The review panel also said there is a need for a “ground up” high-performance alignment between the Super Rugby franchises and Wallabies.
WALLABIES 2019 REVIEW PROVIDES BLUEPRINT FOR FUTURE SUCCESS
DECEMBER 19, 2019
Rugby Australia has today [Thursday] released the key recommendations of a review into the Wallabies 2019 season and Rugby World Cup campaign.
The independent review was conducted by a three-person panel consisting of former Wallaby and experienced sports administrator, Pat Howard, four-time Olympian and leading High-Performance professional, Bo Hanson and 116-Test former Wallabies captain, Nathan Sharpe.
The aim of the review was to assist Rugby Australia to build a framework for success for future international, Rugby World Cup and Olympic Games campaigns by its national teams.
The review addressed all elements of the Wallabies program including coaching, planning, athletic performance, campaign preparation, team leadership, cohesion and the selection process.
The 2019 Wallabies squad members, team and coaching staff provided input into the review via an online survey and personal interviews with the review panellists.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “We thank the three members of the review panel for their detailed report and look forward to implementing their recommendations into our future planning for major tournaments and campaigns.
“We also appreciate the detailed and open feedback provided by members of the Wallabies team and staff which has enabled the panel to deliver this very important piece of work. It is clear from the review, the 2019 Wallabies are a team who were proud to represent our country and we thank the Head Coach for instilling this pride in what it means to represent Australia.
“We needed to look at what learnings we could take from our 2019 campaign from the viewpoint of the entire organisation to enable us to best prepare our teams for future success.
“While it is important that the Rugby public understands the outcomes of the review, we must also respect the confidentiality and integrity of the process which presents a blueprint for future Wallabies success. As such, we are releasing only a summary of in excess of 40 recommendations made.
“The report shows there are clearly areas needing development and improvement. Some of these can be addressed quickly and easily, while others will take time and a collective desire among our professional teams to implement and create real change.
“The report clearly shows that our work to develop an aligned and integrated National High-Performance Plan needs continued focus and development, and additionally there are a number of areas where Rugby Australia can realign its focus to deliver a consistently high-performing Wallabies program.
“This supports the structural changes that were made to our High-Performance environment in late 2018, and the appointment of the Director of Rugby to oversee the delivery of this holistic plan. We have also appointed coaching and team management personnel for the Wallabies program with the required skillsets to enable us to achieve our objectives, led by Head Coach Dave Rennie who will be given personal insight into all review findings.
“We will continue to keep the Rugby public informed on our progress as we work through the recommendations over the coming months.”
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