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‘Not good enough’: Rugby Australia reveal details of external Wallabies review

By Finn Morton
The players of Australia form a huddle at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Portugal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on October 01, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia has revealed details of an external review into the Wallabies’ 2023 season after their woeful Rugby World Cup campaign which was “not good enough for a proud rugby nation.”

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Former Australian international Andrew Slack and Justin Harrison will partake in the review as part of a three-member panel along with industry expert Darlene Harrison.

Rugby Australia also confirmed in a statement that “a Pasifika advisor will also support the panel and process.”

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“The panel will review the strategy and structure of the Wallabies’ performance environment in 2023 and aims to deliver its recommendations to the Rugby Australia board before the end of the year,” the statement read.

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The Wallabies are without a coach following the resignation of Eddie Jones this week. Jones, 63, was unveiled as Australia’s’ head coach in January.

With coach Jones at the helm, the Wallabies failed to get off the mark ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Australia collected the wooden spoon in The Rugby Championship, were swept 2-nil in the Bledisloe Cup series, and lost a warm-up Test to France.

But things went from bad to worse as the 2023 Wallabies became the first-ever Australian side to bow out in the pool stage of a men’s Rugby World Cup.

Knockout

New Zealand
South Africa
11 - 12
Final
Argentina
New Zealand
6 - 44
SF1
England
South Africa
15 - 16
SF2
Wales
Argentina
17 - 29
QF1
Ireland
New Zealand
24 - 28
QF2
England
Fiji
30 - 24
QF3
France
South Africa
28 - 29
QF4

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Australia only won two of nine Tests in 2023.

In the wake of the disappointment of the disastrous campaign, Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh believes the three-panel members can bring expertise and experience to the review.

“As rugby fans, we were all disappointed in the results at the World Cup – the performance was not good enough for a proud rugby nation like ours,” Waugh said.

“We had a new coach, new staff and a lot of new players – many of whom have only just started their careers, and who will be the future stars of Australian Rugby.

“The Wallabies have a proud history as one of Australia’s most loved sporting teams, and it is our responsibility as custodians to continually seek to improve performance and deliver a world-class program.

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“Andrew, Justin and Darlene are highly respected, and I believe they possess the credentials to be able to deliver a thorough and considered external review.”

Andrew Slack represented 39 times as a centre, including at the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Slack was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to rugby and has also been inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame.

Slack will be joined by fellow former Wallaby Justin Harrison on the board. Harrison played in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and is currently the CEO of the Rugby Union Players Association.

Harrison is also a popular commentator on Stan Sport.

Finally, Darlene Harrison has more than 20 years of experience in elite sport. Harrison spent time with the Australian Sports Commission and AIS in high-performance and executive roles for more than 10 years.

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Jon 232 days ago

What’s the point?

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S
Shaylen 13 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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