Five years ago, Daniel Herbert called on Australian rugby to look beyond the blame of head coaches and fix the systemic issues preventing the code’s growth. Now, having been named Rugby Australia (RA) chairman following a weekend where Hamish McLennan was ousted, he plans to overhaul the system to revive the sport. Herbert, who joined the RA board in 2020, expressed plans to focus on recruiting a new director of high-performance before naming a new Wallabies head coach. Queensland Rugby Union chairman Brett Clark welcomed Herbert’s appointment but denied that the move was intended to be a Queensland takeover. Clark stated that it was not just the Wallabies’ bad year that led to a loss of confidence in McLennan, but his lack of humility. McLennan’s decision to bring Eddie Jones as the head coach was criticized but Herbert defended it. He now faces the challenge of redirecting the game while listening to stakeholders and reforming the high-performance setup. Herbert highlighted his excitement about the opportunity to bring about change in the sport, but he also expressed concern that if action isn’t taken soon, rugby will miss out on significant opportunities.

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