ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

In the moments before the Wallabies loss to Wales in France overnight, Rugby Australia’s Hamish told detractors and armchair critics of the game to tune out of the must win game in and do something else with their early morning.

It’s similar to the eve of the 2019 general election when Chris Bowen said if you don’t like the Labor Party’s policies, don’t vote for them. Both statements resulted in the same outcome.

While many around the country point towards the inexperience of the players, the weird hubris of Eddie Jones, the lack of form leading into the tournament, the Wallabies getting booted in the pool stage is not from a lack of heart or trying.

This situation was caused by decision made at an executive level, which means the consequences need to come at an executive level.

Nevertheless, the Rugby Australia board and leadership has spoken to reporters in Lyon this morning and they were quick to put their hand up and accept some of the responsibility for what has happened in rugby over the past 12 months.

“It’s clear to us that we need to have an inquiry into what has happened here and we need to do some soul searching and we need to find some key learnings to learn ahead of the Lions tour and the next Rugby World Cup in 2027,” said the Hamish.

“We are committed to Eddie Jones’ vision for the side, much like we were committed to that of Dave Rennie and Michael Cheika. Who knows. If Argentina go deep here, we might have to try to get Cheika back in the top job. He’d be a waste at the [Balmain] Tigers! [uncomfortably loud laughter] Yes, we are committed to staying the course, the board that is, we’re committed to making sure nothing changes as we move forward,”

“Many of you know that something’s been wrong with Rugby in this country since about 2015. It’s not the fact that the board are detached millionaires that see sports administration as a hobby, or that we chop and changes coaches like Fijian prime ministers. It’s because of that bloody AFL and NRL stealing our young talent from OUR schools.”

The Advocate reached out to other members of the Rugby Australia board but all except Hamish are currently on annual leave in France.

More to come.


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