Pulver may regret going to ARU: Farr-Jones
October 20, 2014
Pulver has been under pressure since the beginning of the Kurtley Beale saga © Getty Images

Wallabies great Nick Farr-Jones says ARU chief executive Bill Pulver might be regretting taking the top job in Australian rugby. Pulver and ARU powerbrokers are meeting on Monday to appoint a new coach in the wake of Ewen McKenzie's dramatic resignation on Saturday night.

With the team leaving for a Spring Tour of Europe at the end of the week, the ARU needs to move quickly and it's understood a coaching announcement could be made on Tuesday. NSW mentor Michael Cheika is the frontrunner for the job, but South Africa's former World Cup-winning coach Jake White has also been touted.

The ARU are under pressure to find new Wallabies coach

Farr-Jones says the ARU have made a complete mess of how they've handled the behavioural incidents involving star player Kurtley Beale, which has ultimately led to the demise of the coach and business manager Di Patston. Beale's fate will be decided on Friday at an independent hearing, but Farr-Jones says Pulver has bungled the entire episode.

Speaking on Channel Nine's The Today Show, Farr-Jones believes Pulver will be having second thoughts about his decision to try and save the cash-strapped ARU when he signed on as chief executive in January 2013.

"I think if Bill had have understood the predicament that rugby finds itself in, particularly the financial woes, I don't think he would've put his hand up for the job," said Farr-Jones. "If Bill had've had it all over again, they would've done ... the Beale incident differently. I think they would've settled it offshore, kept it out of the headlines.

"The last thing we in rugby - with football going so well, with rugby league going so well - the last thing we want on the headlines is intrigue and basically being pulled through the gutters."

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones also went on the front foot on Monday, slamming Pulver for a press conference where he blamed the media for McKenzie's resignation.

"McKenzie has lost the job because he was a Sheffield Shield cricketer that couldn't play Test cricket," said Jones. "He's a coach and he didn't coach, Ewen McKenzie. He folded his arms and had all these other people doing the work. There's a reason why Suncorp wasn't full. It wasn't Kurtley Beale. They're tired of the stuff at the top."

Former Wallaby centre Tim Horan was on Sky Sports Radio on Monday and predicted McKenzie would take time to gather himself before resuming a coaching career in Europe, where he's enjoyed past success. Horan defended Pulver and the Wallabies board. undefined


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