Rugby Australia (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan has announced he wants to stay put through to the 2027 home World Cup despite copping the brunt of the blame for the Eddie Jones debacle that ended with the Wallabies coach stepping down on Sunday. McLennan has refused to be the fall guy for the appointment disaster, insisting "I want to stay".
The chairman was ultimately responsible for Jones' appointment after sacking Dave Rennie ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup. Nine months on from that decision, Jones' Wallabies crashed out in the pool and McLennan is digging his heels in.
'GET ON THE PHONE': Wallabies great lashes out over Eddie Jones storm
McLennan in a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald, said he will not be leaving the role as the last thing Rugby Australia needs right now is more instability. "I want to stay to deliver the 2027 World Cup in Australia," he said.
"That has always been the big prize for Australian rugby. More destabilisation will just make matters worse just when we're about to break through. Life is not a continuous line of perfect calls and success. I came to rugby to find a way to fix it when it all fell over and despite the sad Eddie situation, this is another hurdle we'll overcome."
Jones' second stint at the Wallabies lasted just nine Test matches, with the side only registering two wins. Under his lead, Australia fell to 10th in the world rankings, the lowest in the Wallabies history. His departure was confirmed by RA on Tuesday.
Soon the Wallabies will appoint a new coach, the fourth in five years. RA's top targets are expected to be World Cup-winning legend Stephen Larkham and fellow former Wallabies assistant coach Dan McKellar.
McKellar was formerly the Wallabies' forwards coach and was publicly touted as the next in line while Rennie was in charge, even stepping away from the Brumbies job to concentrate on the Wallabies. When Jones was appointed the Wallabies coach he walked away from the national team and took a position as the head coach at Leicester Tigers in the UK.
Wallabies fullback urges RA to not go back to Michael Cheika
Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been linked to a second stint with the Aussie side after steering Argentina to the semi-finals of this year's World Cup. He also helped the Wallabies reach the final in 2015.
Following the Pumas' narrow loss in the third-place playoff against England, Cheika said he had "no idea" if he would continue as Argentina coach. "I haven't even thought about it. I'll go to Argentina later in the year and we will have a talk about how things went and what the future holds," he said.
Yet former Wallabies fullback Matt Burke believes going back to Cheika would be a mistake. "If the form guide is anything to go by, getting back with an ex is not the way to go", he told Sky Sports Radio's The Big Sports Breakfast.
"Do they look at someone like Stephen Larkham? He had a stint under Cheika in 2015. Is he mature enough to make that switch? It certainly has to be an Australian. Hopefully, they get the right direction for Australian rugby.
"The Wallabies are lower than Qantas with how they are perceived. Maybe it's better for Australian rugby. Jones was always going to come out and say he didn't get the resources, but in hindsight when we look back it wasn't the right choice.
"We all got caught up in the hype of Eddie Jones. Look what he did with England in 2015, but it's been a catastrophic fail. The last six months he has had and the erratic decision making, that was the most frustrating part."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.