Australian media outlets are this morning reporting that Australian Rugby Union chief John O’Neill has decided to bring forward his retirement.
The 61-year-old casino magnate announced at a press conference this morning (Australian time) that at the age of 61, he feels the time is right step down and go meekly into the sunset. He will hand over the reigns of the ARU at the end of the month, but continue to play a role with the IRB and the Rugby World Cup organising committee for the time being.
As one of the key decision-makers within the SANZAR alliance, O’Neill is considered the architect of the much-maligned new Super Rugby conference format; the very format that saw Australia’s own Reds host a knock-out match this season despite having fewer log points than any other side in the top six. While South African fans will hope that this ridiculous abomination will have lost it’s key (perhaps only) supporter, it is unlikely that SANZAR will be able to change it ahead of the 2016 season, when the Super Rugby format comes up for renegotiation.Tweet