Sport Rugby Australia appoint three-person panel to conduct review after World Cup failure

04:45  06 november  2019
04:45  06 november  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Rugby Australia has appointed a three-person panel to lead a thorough review of the Wallabies' 2019 season, after another disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign.

The governing body has announced the review panel will consist of former Wallaby Nathan Sharpe, former Wallaby and experienced sports administrator Pat Howard and four-time Olympian and leading high performance professional Bo Hanson.

The review will be an all-encompassing investigation into the Wallabies program and it's World Cup campaign in Japan, to provide recommendations on elements such as coaching, performance, planning and preparation, team selection and culture.

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It follows a major structural overhaul at the beginning of 2019, which brought in a director of rugby in Scott Johnson, who will also partake in the review.

“Twelve months ago Rugby Australia completed a restructure of its High Performance environment and whilst we’ve made significant progress in a number of areas, the new structure is only in its early stages and still needs time to bed-in completely and show long-term results," Rugby Australia CEO Ralene Castle said in a statement.

“The review of the recently-completed Wallabies season will be led by a three-member panel who combined will offer significant expertise and experience from both within and outside the sport, and from both an on and off-field perspective.

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“Pat Howard has experienced Rugby at the highest levels as a player, coach, and High Performance leader both in Australia and overseas, and will also bring extensive learnings from his time at Cricket Australia, having completed dozens of post-campaign reviews.

“Bo Hanson is one of the country’s leading High Performance experts and has led similar review processes across several sports, including Rugby, over the past two decades.

“Nathan Sharpe is one of the most accomplished players in the history of our game and was universally-respected as a player and an on-field leader. He brings recent experience in the Wallabies program having retired from international Rugby in the past seven years and has maintained a close involvement with the game through his role with Network Ten.

This was later validated when it was reported Cheika and Castle had a heated public argument days out from the Wallabies' pool match against Wales.

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“Having these three individuals leading the process will provide a well-rounded perspective on the Wallabies program and enable us to take forward any key learnings for delivery into the major tournament preparations of all of our national teams over the next four-year cycle.”

The review comes off the back of the ugly departure of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after the side's heavy quarter final defeat to England.

Cheika took aim at Rugby Australia's treatment of him, and its decision to appoint Johnson in his role ahead of the World Cup.

The experienced coach, who stepped away from his post after five years, revealed he never had a close relationship with Johnson and Castle.

This was later validated when it was reported Cheika and Castle had a heated public argument days out from the Wallabies' pool match against Wales.

With Rugby Australia now left with a search on their hands for the nation's next coach, the review is set to focus on coaching, however, will run separately to the official coaching appointment procedure.

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