Rugby Australia chairman pushed to step down after Rugby World Cup disaster

Dylan Coetzee
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan during a press conference.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan during a press conference.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has been urged to resign from his role after a move was made against his leadership on Friday.

It was led by chairman of Queensland Rugby Union, Brett Clark, and comes after the Wallabies’ worst Rugby World Cup campaign in history, with them exiting at the pool stages for the first time.

The poor tournament culminated in the resignation of Eddie Jones as head coach, who only lasted 10 months of his five-year deal.

Big support against McLennan

Clark contacted McLennan on Friday with the support of ACT Rugby, Rugby WA, NT Rugby, Tasmania Rugby and South Australia Rugby.

McLennan refused and believes the move is “divisive” and does not prioritise unity.

“This is divisive by nature and pits state against state, parochialism over unity and centralisation,” McLennan told The Roar.

Reports suggest a deadline of 5 pm AEST has been given to McLennan and if he does not step down by then the states could call an Extraordinary General Meeting – a process that requires only two states to call.

After which Rugby Australia must hold a meeting and vote within 60 days to decide on the leadership of the governing body.

Change is needed

After leaving his role as head coach of the Wallabies, Jones shared his thoughts on the state of rugby in the country, underlining that change was needed in some shape.

“I think everyone agrees there needs to be change, but at the moment, the totality of Australian rugby can’t find a way to make change,” Jones told The Australian.

“Australia is a small but great rugby country, we’ve won two World Cups. To think that we can keep doing what we’re doing and that we’ve only got the coaches to blame for it, it’s just foolhardiness.

“I think everyone understands that, but at the moment, there’s not a political way forward, and there’s not a financial way to get forward.”

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