Building Foundations: Dan Herbert's Blueprint for Australian Rugby

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Appointed after the exit of chairman Hamish McLennan at the weekend, Herbert and said first on his list of requirements would be the appointment of a high-performance director.

That person would run the process to find Australia's new coach in the wake of the resignation of Eddie Jones.

Herbert, a 67-Test veteran who had a Rugby World Cup win in 1999, a series win overthe British & Irish Lions, a Rugby Tri Nations title and five Bledisloe Cup successes on his playing resume, told the coach would need to 'find the right fit for our playing group and the right person who can address some of the team's shortcomings of late.'

"The next couple of months are important for putting the foundations in. We keep looking for a sugar hit, it's just not coming. So, we need to put the foundations in, we need to get the right people in and then we need to get the unity."

He saw the controversial centralisation of the game at the forefront of the vision for Australia's future, especially with its aim on the high-performance aspect of rugby.

"I know that different people have a different view of what it looks like – but everyone acknowledges that we have to align, we have to integrate, we have to unite."

It was not a new concept and Herbert recalled it being on the table when he played.

"I think now, we've got enough history to see that it does work. It doesn't have to be a cut-and-past of anyone else's, it can be our own version.

"But the principles are the same. We have to work in an integrated system, we can't work in competition with each other, which is how rugby has been run, or how professional rugby has been run.

"If we can integrate, then we give ourselves a chance."

Herbert said the directors of Rugby Australia believed it was the right time to enact change. There was admiration and respect for McLennan and what he had done at a difficult time for the game, including leading the move for change.

"That's not going to change with me and the directors. We're steadfast on that. We feel the game requires everyone to unite and we felt that would only be achieved with a change of chair."

He said just changing a coach didn't fix what was happening in the game at the moment.

"I know it makes people feel better we've got a certain coach in place for a period of time, but eventually the scoreboard comes into play and that's when you get found out."


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