The 40 findings Rugby Australia won’t tell you

MORE access to sports psychologists for Wallabies, and better relationships between players and Rugby Australia administrators are two key recommendations of a review into the disastrous 2019 season.

The review - conducted by administrator Pat Howard, four-time Olympian Bo Hanson and 116-Test former Wallabies captain, Nathan Sharpe - featured many common clichés and raised the same issues that have plagued Australian rugby for years.

Lack of coaching development, alignment between the national team and Super Rugby sides, and poor skill development in players have been cited repeatedly in recent years as major issues for the game.

Those same concerns were raised by the three-man panel, who interviewed the 2019 Wallabies squad members, team and coaching staff to hand down their bullet point findings.

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Whether this is the review that finally results in meaningful change remains to be seen, given the constant internal politics between provinces and the governing body.

There is clearly a lack of understanding between officials and Australia's best players, leading the review to call for "greater alignment between the Wallabies team and Rugby Australia administration so that each can be more aware of team and organisational priorities and goals".

Another recommendation is to "provide greater access to professional sports psychology services for Wallabies players".

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle. Picture: AAP/Bianca De Marchi
Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle. Picture: AAP/Bianca De Marchi

And highlighting dissatisfaction about the 2019 Wallabies leadership group - after the team bombed out in the World Cup quarter-finals - the review made clear a new system is needed under incoming coach Dave Rennie, who has replaced Michael Cheika.

"Ensure there is a clearly defined Wallabies leadership group, to be selected using a formal process," the review recommended.

While the review made more than 40 recommendations, RA chief executive Raelene Castle defended their stance to keep most private from the public.

"While it is important that the rugby public understands the outcomes of the review, we must also respect the confidentiality and integrity of the process which presents a blueprint for future Wallabies success," Castle said.

"As such, we are releasing only a summary of in excess of 40 recommendations made.

"The report shows there are clearly areas needing development and improvement. Some of these can be addressed quickly and easily, while others will take time and a collective desire among our professional teams to implement and create real change."

News Corp Australia


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