ARU has nothing to hide: Eales

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies legend John Eales says the ARU has nothing to hide over its Super Rugby decision-making process,questioning the necessity of a looming senate inquiry.

The senate on Wednesday approved an investigation into the process that led to the Force’s axing, amid reports the governing body had leaked information.

A report is expected to be handed down in November, concentrating on the integrity of the ARU’s actions.

ARU board member Eales, speaking after the Wallabies’ captains run, said he was confident that an inquiry wouldn’t bring out any dirty secrets, adamant a recently published ARU document answered many queries.

“There’s nothing we can do to stop that but I know that there is nothing the ARU or the ARU board has got to hide,” he said.

“People can go through that [document]. We’ve published everything.

“Go through that timeline and there’s detail.

“I would seriously question whether there is a need for that (inquiry). It’s not me making that decision.”

He again diverted to that document when asked about Andrew Forrest's $50 million offer of grassroots investment, that came in a last-ditch bid to save the Force.

Eales hopes fans can see the Wallabies and the Force issue are separate. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyEales said fans should be able to separate the Super Rugby issue from that of the looming Test match this weekend, between the Wallabies and Springboks, though had no issue with supporters’ plans to don Force jerseys at the match.

Force supporters have directed plenty of ire towards chairman Cameron Clyne and CEO Bill Pulver, who will both be in attendance at Saturday night’s Test.

The pair will likely be well in view of punters for at least part of the match, with plenty of open-air seating across nib Stadium, but it’s hoped there won’t be any need for intervention.

“It’s hard to anticipate what things will be like,” Eales said of the reception the pair may receive.

“Everyone involved in this, in every side of the issue, you’ve got people who have put their heart and soul into the game and that’s the tough thing.

“Everyone is doing what they think is right is right.

“You have issues where there is going to be conflicting views on what people think is the right thing.

“Everyone has acted with that as a basis for their decision.”

Eales said restrictions on the national body had made the process a difficult one.

“Whenever you look back at things, there’s always ways you could do things better but given the circumstances, there’s a lot of constraints,” he said.

“Particularly if you’re the governing body, there’s a lot of constraints placed on you more than there is on others and that does limit some of the options you may have.”