Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne has declined to guarantee or clarify the position of Michael Cheika, after a presentation from the Wallabies’ coach, but says a thorough review will be completed before Christmas.
Clyne came out seven hours into an unfinished RA board meeting on Monday, but spent just 50 seconds giving a statement to the media.
He didn’t answer questions despite being asked if Cheika’s job was safe.
Australia won just four of 13 Tests this year, sparking speculation over whether Cheika would retain his position going into next year’s World Cup.
Clyne and CEO Raelene Castle backed Cheika before last month’s spring tour but further disappointing losses to Wales and a record sixth-straight defeat to Eddie Jones’ England had left disillusioned fans demanding change.
While it’s considered unlikely Cheika will be sacked, there could potentially be changes to his coaching staff.
Clyne made it clear the board had plenty to get through before making any decisions, although he expected the process to be completed in the next couple of weeks.
“We received a presentation from Michael Cheika and we’re going through a process, so I’m not really in a position to elaborate,” Clyne told the media.
“We’ve had a presentation from Michael; we’ve had some data gathered from him, from his coaching staff, from the players and from the high performance unit.
“We need to go through a fairly thorough review process, 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 feel it was important to at least let you know where we are in that process.”
“Obviously, we’ll have more to say and have that process wrapped up ahead of Christmas.”
The marathon seven-and-a-half hour board meeting finally ended about 30 minutes after Clyne’s brief media appearance.
The Wallabies apart, the board also reviewed the failed bid to host the 2023 Women’s Rugby World Cup and also discussed participation and community issues, and financial and commercial matters.