Australian Rugby Union Planning Major Boost To Development Program
The Australian Rugby Union is "planning to fill two major holes in its development program with the appointment of an elite coaching development head and a national talent identification expert," according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. ARU CEO Bill Pulver outlined his overall strategy for growing the game, "in which the two still-to-be-hired employees will play a critical role." The ARU has already "closed one of the gaps by employing Mick Byrne, the ex-All Blacks skills coach, as the national skills coach." Pulver said, "Mick Byrne is the first and a really important one. I would tell you openly that if you look at some of those New Zealand teams and their skills are just substantially better than ours." A talent ID director "appears to meet a long overdue need." Pulver: "We have a list of people we’re looking at. It’s pretty hard to do though because a truly high-caliber elite coach development person, there are not that many in the world." Pulver not only outlined a list of planned reform but "committed himself to staying around to implement them." He "categorically denied" rumors he intended to quit the ARU after the Rio Olympics (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/8).