Australia turns on Dwyer

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The Independent Online
Bob Dwyer, the coach who achieved guru status before, during and after guiding the Wallabies to the 1991 World Cup, yesterday paid the penalty for his team's failure in the '95 tournament when he was dismissed by the Australian Rugby Football Union, writes Steve Bale.

His dignity would have been better served had he accepted the end of the recent World Cup as an obvious time to stand down, instead of putting his name forward again. It had been made clear by the New South Wales RU last week that its five votes would go to Greg Smith, the NSW coach, rather than Dwyer and though Queensland's three went to its own John Connolly, Smith attracted enough of the remaining six votes to win the election.

Dwyer's fate was effectively sealed by the Rob Andrew drop goal with which England knocked out Australia in the quarter-final, the Wallabies having already lost their opening game to South Africa. These defeats provoked intense criticism, though Dwyer was not there for yesterday's verdict because he is on a temporary assignment in Paris with Racing Club.

As this is the second time the ARFU has turned against him, he already knew the feeling and will hardly be consoled by yesterday's uncomfortable tribute from Bruce Hayman, the ARFU chief executive: "Bob has given the union 10 years of unprecedented service."

Wales also have a new coach, albeit for just the one match against Fiji on 11 November. The Welsh RU yesterday announced the appointment of Kevin Bowring, Wales A coach and former London Welsh captain, to take over as caretaker-coach from the previous caretaker-coach, Alex Evans, who is about to have a shoulder operation.