AUSTRALIAN Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver has blamed the media for making Ewen McKenzie quit as Wallabies coach.
McKenzie himself blamed a lack of commitment from the playing group while Pulver said the allegedly relentless attacks on his character from the Australian media left him with little option but to resign.
McKenzie and the Wallabies in general have been under fire from the media but considering the internal strife the Wallabies were in, loss to Argentina and their inability to beat the All Blacks, the majority of criticism was warranted.
Pulver suggested McKenzie felt there were media agendas to get rid of him.
McKenzie however intimated that he had issues with ARU board and media reports he was in line to be sacked had merit.
“That’s all I have to say, take it up with Bill,” McKenzie as he left an extraordinary post match press conference.
McKenzie was clapped as he left the press conference.
His announcement was met with audible gasps from journalists.
Pulver though was adamant his now ex-coach’s character had been assassinated and potentially turned the playing group against him.
“Australia has lost a terrific coach and a great bloke. It is extremely disappointing,” he said.
“In essence Ewen said he felt he was going to struggle to retain the level of respect of the playing group and his support staff.
“In my view, directly because of the extraordinary character assassination he has had to put up with in the past two weeks.
“As somebody who is responsible for upholding the core values of this game, passion, inteity, discipline, respect and solidarity … what has happened to Ewen over the past two weeks is extremely disappointing.
“The attack on Ewen was relentless. It left him with the view he couldn’t continue in the role because it was too far back for him to achieve the level of respect in the playing group.
“It is extremely disappointing a Wallaby coach feels like he needs to resign from his position particularly when you look at the way the team played tonight.
“At 10am this morning (Saturday) I received an email from Ewen with a letter of resignation attached.
” immediately asked to meet him and tried talk him out of it. It (resignation) was not something I was looking for.
” am disappointed in the Australian public.
“I am talking about the media primarily. The commentary has been unfounded and unfair.”
Pulver said they wanted to name a permanent Australia coach for the World Cup by this Friday.
NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is the most likely replacement.
“We want someone who is capable of leading the Wallabies to the World Cup and beyond.
“We need to find someone that is available and willing to take up the challenge.
“It is desirable to achieve an outcome by Friday.
“We have a bit of work to do.
“We are right back at the start.”