Sekope Kepu of the Waratahs.
Sekope Kepu of the Waratahs. ROSS SETFORD

ARU summit to address Australia's Super Rugby slide

RUGBY UNION: A coaching summit will be held by the ARU within a month to address the shocking results of the Australian Super Rugby franchises this season.

World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer and former national coaching director Dick Marks will be involved in discussions with Super Rugby and Wallabies coaching staff to find answers to Australia's alarming decline, highlighted by their record of three wins, one draw and 27 losses against overseas sides this season.

ARU general manager of high performance Ben Whitaker revealed that the sit-down would occur in weeks, but would not include a range of other coaching specialists including Rod Macqueen and Alan Jones, as suggested by pundits.

"I don't think getting everybody in one room initially would work, because those guys would demand airtime - which they should given their credentials - but we've made contact with Bob Dwyer and Dick Marks to start off with," Whitaker said.

"We certainly don't sit there thinking we've got all the answers. We're in a rut, but do players become duds overnight? Certainly not.

"We have continual dialogue with the states and we have to work really clearly together.

"I think everyone has got part of the answer, but we need the whole answer.

"We're performing poorly at the moment but I do think it is something that can be fixed reasonably quickly."

With Australian teams now winless from 17 games against Kiwi rivals this season, the NSW Waratahs will need an extraordinary turn of events to keep their finals hopes alive as they're due to play the Highlanders and Chiefs in New Zealand in their run home.

The Tahs have a bye this week before hosting the Melbourne Rebels on May 21, before their ominous Kiwi road trip.

Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu said it was possible to score wins in those two fixtures.

"You can look at it both ways. We've done it before, there's no reason why we can't do it," he said.

"It's a massive challenge but I'm excited about it."

News Corp Australia

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