Rugby Australia have issued a statement confirming that new head coach Eddie Jones will not be working with assistants Dan McKellar and Petrus du Plessis with the Wallabies. McKellar has been snapped up as the new Leicester Tigers head coach while du Plessis has resigned from his scum coaching role.
A statement read: “Australia assistant coach Dan McKellar has resigned from his position effective immediately to take up a coaching position overseas. Predominantly responsible for the forwards, McKellar first started with the Wallabies in 2021 while still the head coach of the ACT Brumbies.
“He then joined the national programme on a full-time basis following the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season. Rugby Australia can also confirm that national scrum coach Petrus du Plessis has resigned from his role with the organisation.
“The Wallabies and Rugby Australia are working on finalising the coaching roster that will join Eddie Jones in the lead-up to this year’s Rugby World Cup, with announcements to be made in due course.”
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said: “We are disappointed that Dan will not continue with the Wallabies this year. However, I want to thank him for his service to Australian Rugby, especially with the Wallabies and at Super Rugby level and am sure he will return in the future having gained some more valuable experience as a coach.
“He has made a great impact since joining the Brumbies in 2014 and transitioned into his national assistant role well over the past two seasons, we wish him and his family all the best for the future. We also want to thank Petrus for his contribution to the Wallabies and wish him and his family all the best in their next chapter.
“Together with Eddie, we will continue to work hard to assemble a quality coaching staff to deliver a high-performing environment in our preparation for The Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup later this year.”
McKellar added: “This was an extremely difficult decision to make but it’s one that’s made with my best professional and family interests in mind. I firmly believe my next challenge will make me a better coach and hopefully allow me to return home and contribute in a positive fashion to Australian Rugby in the future.
“I’d like to thank Andy, Eddie and Dave Rennie for their support and giving me the opportunity to be part of the Wallabies coaching staff over the past two years. I’d also like to thank the players and I wish them and Eddie all the best in what’s a massive year ahead.”
Du Plessis said: “I’d like to thank Rugby Australia for the opportunity to work with the Wallabies and the broader Australian system over the past two and a half years. After meeting with Eddie, I made the difficult decision to resign from the role and explore my business interests outside of Rugby. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and I’d like to wish Eddie and the team all the best for the 2023 season.”