David Wilson (68)
There'll be a bounce, there nearly always is. And we can hardly get worse. I hope.
If we want to see a sustained improvement, a LOT more needs to happen besides getting a new coach. Sure, we can look at the U-20s and Schoolboys beating NZ this year, but looking closer at what is happening in the de facto development pathways at school and junior level, there is a looming problem. Club rugby is enjoying good following, but the next tier is a bit lost.
England have a depth of resources (financial and human) that we just don't. We need therefore to be smarter, not just at the Wallabies level but all the way down. The current RA board probably won't fix this. They're as much a disaster as Cheika. But the whole pathway development, mainly in coaching structures (S&C, skills, tactics, kicking, leadership), has to evolve.
Historically, a winning Wallaby team can initiate some top down interest. I hope the next coach gets this bit right. I hope the admin gets the rest right.
While I agree, especially in regard to pathways, I would not like to see the failings on the administrative side dilute the responsibility of Michael Cheika for the exceptionally poor results of the Wallabies during his time at the helm.
On the pathways, I am encouraged by the changes that have been made to the Schoolboys/U18s combination and the new tournament structures in place for the U19/U20s. With the likes of players like McReight, Wilson, Lucas, Harris, Lolesio, et al coming through the U20s this year following others like Wright, ASY (Angus Scott-Young), Hockings, Blyth, Swain, Vui, HJH (Harry Johnson-Holmes) etc a year or so older, I think there is a lot of hope that the fruits of these efforts will be realised in one or two years most.