Michael Cheika will live to fight at least a few more days as the coach of the Wallabies but is no guarantee to retain the position into the new year.
Cameron Clyne gave an extremely brief press conference after Rugby Australia held their final board meeting of December, giving Australian rugby fans no more information than to say the board is still ‘going through the process’ of deciding Cheika’s fate.
Clyne said they hope to have concluded the process by Christmas.
“We’ve had a presentation from Michael, we’ve had some data gathered from him, from his coaching staff, players and high-performance unit; and we need to through a fairly thorough review process,” said Clyne.
“We’ve got all the information we need and we’ll be going through that process.
“I know people are very keen to know what’s going on, but I just felt it was important to at least let you know where we are in that process, and obviously we’ll have more to say and have that process wrapped up ahead of Christmas.
“It’ll be done by Christmas, the review process.”
The press conference went for only a minute and Clyne exited immediately, ignoring requests to take questions from reporters.
It came after a day where it was widely speculated that Cheika will retain his position as coach of the Wallabies, but the national side may undergo a significant reshuffling among its assistant coaches.
The news will no doubt be received with frustration by Australian rugby fans who will be wondering what more time the board could need to make a decision on the team’s coaching future.
With the 2019 Rugby World Cup just nine months away, fans are crying out for clarity over how the Wallabies intend to transform from their lowest ebb into a competitive challenger.
Some will no doubt find it reminiscent of Rugby Australia’s lengthy ‘process’ to ultimately decide on the ejection of the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition, which dragged out far longer than was initially advertised by the game’s executives.
That saga gives fans little confidence that Rugby Australia can be relied upon to meet their stated deadline of a decision by Christmas.