Former Western Force and NSW Waratahs chief executive Greg Harris is disappointed an Australian Super Rugby side has been axed but he won't say if he will be a candidate to replace Bill Pulver.
When the ARU announced on Friday that Western Force would be cut, chief executive Pulver said he would stand down once a replacement was found.
Harris didn't want to comment on Saturday whether he might put his name forward but his rugby CV would make him a strong candidate
He has served as CEO of both the Force and Waratahs plus the Rugby Union Players' Association and as a consultant to the Melbourne Rebels.
The well-respected administrator was the executive director of Sydney University Sport and has also held positions in two other football codes.
He was chairman of the of the NRL education and welfare committee and chairman of selectors for the Sydney Swans.
He chose his words carefully regarding the ARU's decision, but didn't hide his disappointment a team had been cut.
"It's very disappointing considering that the other codes in Australia have expanded," Harris told AAP.
"However, rugby has a unique set of circumstances with its international partnerships.
"I am not fully cognisant of the game's financial position so it is difficult for me to make any realistic comment on their claim of financial necessity, being the basis for the decision."
ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said while it had been fashionable to blame Pulver for the ills besetting Australian Rugby, the outgoing chief executive had overseen some positives during his tenure.
"The advancements that have occurred in the game under Bill's watch are extraordinary," Clyne said.
He suggested the new chief executive would need to be resilient to cope with criticism from within the sport.
"One of the sad things about rugby, is that more than any other sport, it tends to turn on its own, and this has happened actually to the last few CEOs," Clyne said.
Clyne praised Pulver for the way he had handled the barbs thrown in his direction
"I've been with him at games where people have written the most vitriolic, offensive, unfounded and factless commentary and Bill has walked right up to them and confronted them very pleasantly and said 'lets talk about the facts','" Clyne said.
"He's always represented the game extremely well and he should be very proud of that and the service he has given the game."