Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne says they're not rushing the appointment of a new CEO, with Bill Pulver to depart in 2018.
Pulver opted against seeking a renewal of his five-year contract, after a tumultuous year in rugby, highlighted by the dragged out saga of axing a Super Rugby team.
Initially it seemed Pulver would have a replacement by the end of the year, but Clyne said there was no guarantee of that.
"We've got an independent firm that's obviously receiving applications and they'll go through a process of hopefully cutting it down to a shortlist," he said.
"Ideally we'd like to have it done before the year's out. We want the right candidate, so we're not going to rush it.
"Bill's obviously very generously staying around and making sure that things are still operating until such time as we're able to make an announcement."
Pulver's contract expires in February and he could very well remain in the post until then.
"I think the most important thing is getting the right candidate," Clyne said.
"There's been no shortage of interest and I'm very hopeful we're going to see some really good applicants and be able to make an appointment as soon as we can but it'll be for the right candidate but not just to adhere to a time frame."
Names including former IOC head Fiona De Jong and ex-Wallabies Phil Kearns and Brett Robinson have been thrown up but no frontrunners have firmed.
The recommendations of a senate inquiry into the sport will be handed down on November 13, and Clyne again questioned its usefulness.
"We've made our view clear that that's not really something we don't uite understand the motivation, it really hasn't addressed the terms of reference to date either," he said.
"It's been around historical issues, not the future of Australian rugby. We welcome a discussion on the future of Australian rugby but that's the nature of the process.
"There are 19 sports in Australia that get more money than rugby - we're just a little confused why we're first cab off the rank.
"We did something that people don't like but was perfectly legal. Having said that, that's just the challenge you have to deal with in sport."