It’s been a massive year for rugby in Australia and around the world and RUGBY.com.au has covered things from every angle.
With only three days left in 2019, we’re counting down the top stories on the site, as read by you, from this year.
Today, the top five stories from this year.
5. Cheika resigns, Rennie joins Wallabies
It was a tumultuous year for the Wallabies and as the side limped to a World Cup quarter-final, Michael Cheika’s public declaration that he wouldn’t seek re-appointment if they did not raise the Webb Ellis Cup became an inevitable decision. Cheika officially resigned as Wallabies coach the day after Australia’s quarter-final loss to England. In the same 24-hour period, Rugby AU CEO Raelene Castle revealed the organisation already had a list of names that they had been speaking to about succeeding Cheika. Kiwi Dave Rennie’s name was never far from speculation, even as early as November 2018, and last month Rennie’s Wallabies appointment became official as he signed a three-and-a-half year deal to coach Australia through to the 2023 World Cup.
4. Australia’s bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup
Australia’s move to put its hand up to bid for the 2017 Rugby World Cup created some waves in 2019. WIth Aussies the second-most represented fan group at this year’s World Cup, behind England, the appetite for an international tournament was clear and after securing some federal funding, Rugby Australia opted to move ahead with its process. The formal bid process kicks off in 2020 and both the 2027 and 2031 Rugby World Cup hosts will be announced in November 2021. Australia’s potential bid already has some high-profile supporters, including RFU CEO Bill Sweeney and current AOC chief executive Matt Carroll. Argentina, the USA and Russia shape as the biggest competition for the Aussies though the race will become clearer when bid intentions have to be made official.
3. Israel Folau saga
By the time Israel Folau and Rugby Australia and the Waratahs…