Rod Macqueen announces his retirement


MELBOURNE, Reuters

Australian rugby union coach Rod Macqueen announced on Saturday he would retire after next weekend’s deciding third test against the British and Irish Lions.

Macqueen made the surprise announcement immediately after his side’s record 35-14 victory in the second test which levelled the series at 1-1.

“I believe it’s time for a fresh approach for the team and now seems the appropriate time,” Macqueen said.

Macqueen had planned to stand down in September at the end of Australia’s defence of the Tri-Nations championship against New Zealand and South Africa.

ACT Brumbies coach Eddie Jones has already been named as his successor and has been assisting Macqueen over the past month to make the transition smoother.

Jones coached the Australia A team that beat the Lions last month.

“We’ve planned for Eddie Jones to come in, he’s been involved with the side since day one,” Macqueen said.

“He’s done an excellent job and he’s ready to go on from here.”

Macqueen replaced Greg Smith as Wallaby coach in 1997 and went on to establish himself as Australia’s greatest coach, winning virtually every major trophy on offer, including the 1999 World Cup.