Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse for the Wallabies, it has.
After a scandalous fortnight, which saw player Kurtley Beale dismissed from the team, New Zealand has rubbed salt into the Wallabies’ wounds by coming back in the last two seconds of last night’s final match of the Bledisloe Cup to win 29-28 – oh and then their coach quit. Ouch.
After the game coach Ewen McKenzie announced to the team he would be stepping down as head coach.
“I’ve been a very proud contributor to Australian rugby but I feel at this point in time – there’s a bunch of reasons I’ve put in writing to Bill – I had a discussion with him this morning, my intention was, win, lose or draw, that I was going to announce that resignation tonight,” he said.
McKenzie had told the ARU before the match that he would resigning irrelevant of the game’s result. He is believed to have cited a lack of confidence in maintaining the respect of the team and support staff for his reason to leave.
Over the past fortnight McKenzie has been questioned over his management ethics and relationship with former colleague Di Patston after Beale was thrown off the team for sending lewd text messages to Patston.
ARU boss Bill Pulver has blamed the media for McKenzie’s departure, saying he has been the victim of a character assassination.
“I think has been extremely disappointing,” he said. “Unfounded, unwanted and unfair is how I would describe it,” he said.
The Wallabies are due to set off on a five-week tour of Europe on Friday but it is now unknown who lead the team as coach.
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