Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive Bill Pulver said he will resign if asked to do so at an emergency general meeting this week.
The uncertainty over which Australian Super Rugby franchise will be axed from next year’s tournament – along with two from South Africa – has put Pulver under pressure as the ARU’s boss.
The Australian game’s governing body announced 10 weeks ago that either the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force will be axed but that decision has been put on hold due to legal wrangling.
Australia’s leading players have complained that “the fiasco” was damaging the game and the emergency general meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss the process.
And Pulver said he would step down from his position if the meeting demanded it.
“If everyone in the room stood up on Tuesday and said, ‘Bill, we think it’s time for change now’, I will step down immediately,” he told Fairfax Media.
“It’s not an issue of anyone having to push me out.
“If the members of Australian rugby felt the game would be better suited with me gone, they don’t need to call an EGM. I’m here for the good of the game. If and when it’s time for me to leave, I will leave quite happily.”
When asked whether he still had the ARU board’s support, Pulver said: “Ask them.”
Two of the emergency general meeting’s resolutions relate to the ARU reconsidering its undertaking to remove a Super Rugby team.
Pulver said the feedback he has had “from virtually every state is they agree that we need to go from five to four”.
“Most people who understand the game appreciate that we need to go from five to four teams,” he added.