McKenzie has 'galvanised' Wallabies

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:13
I'm very impressed with how Ewen's approached the job

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver believes that coach Ewen McKenzie's tough stance on team discipline has galvanised the Wallabies.

The Wallabies have been plagued in recent times by off-field incidents involving players such as James O'Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper, but Pulver is confident those days are behind them under McKenzie's watch.

The former Wallaby prop suspended six players after he found out that they had gone out drinking in Dublin in the lead-up to their clash with Ireland, and Pulver said that he had supported the decision fully.

"There's no question in my mind that elite athletes don't go out drinking after midnight on the week of a Test match, period," Pulver told AAP.

"I don't expect it to happen again and for us to have serious disciplinary issues going forward.

"Just needed to make a point about what we found acceptable and what we didn't and that's been done.

"The squad was certainly galvanised," he added.

The ARU boss said that whilst the Wallabies' seven wins from 15 Tests this year was not good enough, he believes they have what it takes to challenge the All Blacks as the best team in the world.

"I don't think (this year) is a pass mark. But I'm very impressed with how Ewen's approached the job, focused on discipline, culture and individuals being accountable," he said.

"There's no lack of talent. I think we have the players to be the best team in the world. Now we've got to get the rugby program wrapped around fulfilling their potential.

"There's no silver bullet. Being Wallabies head coach is a tough job. We want to win and entertain," he said.