Wallabies legend Mark Ella has criticised the standard of Australian rugby union, labelling it "catastrophic", and has called for a national coaching director to be appointed immediately.
The former Test fly-half said in his column for The Australian newspaper that the majority of Australian rugby players didn’t deserve their huge pay packets because they couldn’t complete the most basic rugby skills under pressure.
"It may be an inconvenient truth for current players and coaches alike, but the lack of skill exhibited by Australian teams has become catastrophic," Ella wrote.
"Reds coach Eddie Jones didn’t mince his words when he said Australian sides are being left behind and are not well-skilled in the basics of catch and pass.
"He (Jones) also said Australian players have no game sense, which is a gross understatement."
To help mend the problem, Ella has called for a national coaching director to be installed.
"The national coaching director, or whatever he is called, should work closely with our Super 14 coaches, just as much as he should work with our next Wallabies coach in 2008," added Ella.
Ella believes Bob Dwyer and Rod MacQueen would be perfect for the role.
"They are passionate about the game and still have a great deal to offer without any personal ambition to overstep the delicate boundaries within rugby," said Ella.
"Both would be in a position to lend a sympathetic ear, discuss potential game plans, provide information on opposition teams, identify rising stars and do analysis on team management structures, when and if instructed."