Australian rugby about to tear itself to shreds
Sweeping changes are coming soon at the board of Rugby Australia as the sport continues to tear itself apart following the Wallabies' disastrous World Cup campaign.
Michael Cheika's stunning admission that he had no real relationship with either the chief executive Raelene Castle or the chairman Cameron Clyne has put the spotlight on the sport's bumbling administrators.
While Cheika fell on his sword and quit after the team's worst World Cup performance in history, furious Australian rugby fans are turning the blowtorch on the board members who left him in the job when the alarm bells were ringing more than a year ago.
The Daily Telegraph understands that two of the three key executives could be gone within months - but that does not include Castle.
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The vice-chairman Brett Robinson will be stepping down in April after serving his maximum three terms, totalling nine years.
And chairman Clyne's future on the board is uncertain. The former banking executive has rightly copped a lot of flak, but needs the support of the membership to stay on because his second term is about to expire and he up for re-election.
At this stage, it is understood he wants to continue for another term but that could all change as calls for him to go grow louder after the on-field disaster added to the handling of the Israel Folau and Western Force public relations disasters.
Hundreds of disillusioned fans posted comments on The Daily Telegraph website calling for heads to roll and former Wallaby coach Alan Jones echoed their sentiments by saying the entire board should be sacked immediately.
"The only good thing that can be said is that the broken down vehicle that is rugby would not be hard to repair," Jones said on 2GB.
"But it's no use putting people in charge of the repair operation who presided over the car wreck in the first place - the car wreck we witnessed at the weekend.
"Make no mistake, Michael Cheika's exit solves nothing and if there's any decency in the administration their resignations should be on the desk today."
Former Wallaby Paul McLean will also complete his second term in April and is understood to be considering stepping down, and others may also head to the exit door because of the public anger, but there are no indications as yet that Castle will join them.
Appointed in late 2017, the new chief executive officer is not on a fixed term but is facing intense scrutiny after she publicly declared she believed in Cheika's plan to win the World Cup when even Blind Freddy could see it was destined to fail.
"Cheik didn't select himself," former Wallaby and Fox commentator Rod Kafer said.
"He was selected by a board and I think they've failed in their assessment of what is the right thing for Australian rugby.
"There are a whole range of people who should be putting their hand up now and accepting responsibility for the choices they made."
Just who is to blame for the World Cup debacle has deeply divided the rugby community, with Tim Horan, a two-time World Cup winner for the Wallabies, speaking out in favour, both of Cheika and the board.
Horan agreed that the administration would benefit from some fresh faces but said it wasn't fair to blame them for the team's flawed strategy and execution on the field.
"I'm not going to go out and bag the board because I reckon they've done a pretty good job," Horan told The Daily Telegraph.
"The board is going to change anyway, whether this has probably forced their hand a bit more, I don't know.
"But that's going to be healthy because some people on the board have been there for a while and done a good job and it's time to regenerate the board."