O'Neill to stand down in 2013
October 18, 2011
John O'Neill intends to stand down as ARU chief executive in two years' time © Getty Images
In addressing the future of Robbie Deans as Wallabies head coach, Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive John O'Neill has revealed that he will quit his position in 2013.
Deans has come under pressure from some quarters to step down after Sunday's Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat by the All Blacks. However, the New Zealander signed a contract extension before the tournament which will take him up to and including the British & Irish Lions' tour of Australia in 2013.
O'Neill explained that he will play no part in any review of Deans' position before then or indeed in any negotiations with the former Crusaders regarding a new deal up to and including the 2015 World Cup given that he will be leaving his own job in two years' time.
"That won't be my call," O'Neill said when quizzed on whether Deans would be kept on. "My contract is up at the end of 2013 and it will not be a decision that will involve me.
"If I'd left as originally intended, 30 June next year, I would not have involved myself in Robbie's extension - that was in agreement with the board.
"The board that is in situ for 2013 will be making those calls and I'll be preparing to ride off, probably much to the relief of some people, into the sunset and it would be inappropriate for me to be involved in that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.
"I think the work I do in defence gets spoken of a little too much as it comes at the expense of what I do in attack." Brad Barritt talks to Tom Hamilton
The European Champions Cup: what's changed and what's new in the revamped competition previously known as the Heineken Cup?