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Thread: McKenzie supports Eddie's claims

  1. #1
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    McKenzie supports Eddie's claims

    McKenzie supports Eddie's claims

    By Jim Morton
    March 28, 2007


    AUSTRALIAN rugby lurched further into crisis today, with New South Wales coach Ewen McKenzie, like Queensland counterpart Eddie Jones, saying that Australia coach John Connolly had undermined him.

    McKenzie said today that he believed Connolly was a destabilising influence on his position.

    Jones, who received public backing today from the Queensland Rugby Union despite his role remaining in limbo, has pointed the finger at his Wallabies successor for undermining him as he led the injury-ravaged Reds to seven successive defeats - their worst losing streak in 20 years.

    Connolly denied today that he was the source of rumours that Jones was leaving for London club Saracens, and claimed he was unfazed whether he stayed with the Reds or left Brisbane.

    "I've never read so much rubbish in all my days," Connolly said.

    "If he goes, we wish him all the best.

    "But if he stays, that's good, too.

    "Australia needs a strong Queensland."

    But Connolly refused to comment about claims that he had undermined McKenzie.

    McKenzie took aim at Connolly today, saying he had been sniping at them from behind the scenes.

    The Waratahs coach said tonight that he was suffering the same sort of "smear campaign" to which Jones had been subjected.

    "I think there could be some commonality (which is a pity)," he said.

    McKenzie believed the rumours were a result of his candidacy for the Wallabies job after the coming Rugby World Cup.

    "I think there has been some agendas out there which is making life difficult rather than enhancing the state of the game," he said.

    "I think what we want is some honesty in what's going on, and a focus on the things that matter."

    Jones will remain as Reds coach for the remainder of the Super 14 season, but he is yet to recommit to the rest of his three-year contract at Ballymore.

    The Queensland Rugby Union told Jones at a hastily convened meeting prompted by reports he would be sacked or resign that it was desperate for him to see out his full deal.

    QRU chairman Peter Lewis said another meeting had been scheduled for Monday morning, to allow QRU chief executive Ken Freer, currently in Sydney, to attend.

    "I can absolutely ensure there will be no change of coach in the short term," Lewis said.

    "Eddie is committed to this team to the end of the Super 14."

    Lewis said the "scandalous" reports about Jones had prevented a positive announcement later in the week, and came at a terribly delicate time when the Reds were attempting to recontract a host of exciting young players.

    "We didn't need this now, we're right in the middle of contracting," he said.

    "I'm not happy. This was never on the agenda. It wasn't raised by Eddie, it wasn't raised by us ... it's come from nowhere."

    AAP

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    God I get sick of this shit! I know it's the era of professional Rugby but surely contracts should be based on a man being as good as his word. No "get-out" clauses in contracts. If a coach is sacked he gets paid out but otherwise he stays the course or gets SFA.

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    The ARU needs to nip all this dribble in the bud now. Its not doing anyone favours, but dont hold your breath. The Tuquri saga is a good pointer on how well ARU management is travelling, ie like a busted wheel.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Agreed TLH, and Shasta...Enough of this crap, get on with the job at hand and stop pointing the finger elsewhere...

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