Queensland Reds coach Eddie Jones is to participate in a full review of the team’s performance in the wake of a shambolic Super 14 campaign.
The Australians finished dead-last in the competition, which reached a miserable denouement for the Reds with a 92-3 thrashing at the hands of the Bulls in the final round.
The Queensland club picked up just two wins all season, and finished 10 points adrift of second-bottom NSW Waratahs.
Former Australia captain John Eales believes the Reds require a major overhaul, and claims that the beleaguered players are not heading into matches with any self-belief.
"The Reds are worse off now than at the start of the year, confidence-wise and skill-wise," Eales told The Financial Review. "The Reds’ trend still looks down."
And another former Wallaby, David Wilson, believes that the buck stops with the players, rather than coach Jones.
Wilson told The Courier Mail: "Whether you like Eddie or not, the truth is the Reds wouldn’t have made the semis with (highly-rated Crusaders coach) Robbie Deans in charge.
"Players have to look at personal performance because three or four times this year you had to ask: ‘Why don’t you know how to close out a game with a lead?’"
Queensland Rugby Union chairman Peter Lewis has now called a meeting with the franchise’s players and coaching staff in the wake of a huge public outcry to the Reds’ abysmal campaign.
Lewis said: "I have heard all the reaction from former players and true rugby people.
"It’s a time for cool heads, not the Spanish inquisition.
"It’ll be the review the Reds were always to have post-season but with a wider range of views and more parties involved.
"The bottom line is: how do we get out of this?
"Eddie [Jones] is already preparing his season review. He is more concerned than anyone."
Jones is expected to recommend to Lewis that several of his first-team players be moved on in a bid to improve morale in the camp ahead of next season.
"All season, the side has tried pretty hard, but there definitely have to be changes to the squad," Jones said.