ARU chief Bill Pulver to step down

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver (R) will step down once a replacement is found

Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver will step down from his role once a replacement is found.

His decision to step down came straight after the ARU announced it would axe the Western Force from the 2018 Super Rugby competition.

The ARU won its arbitration hearing against RugbyWA, but the Force said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Pulver said he would remain in his position until a replacement could be found.

"I have made the decision to step down as CEO once the board finds someone to replace the position," Pulver said.

"It's been a tough year for rugby and it's a good time for a renewed leadership, a clean state, a new generation of rugby.

"Sport is a difficult business and we have had a difficult year and this means it is the right time for me to step down and create renewal."

Pulver's announcement comes after ongoing criticism of the ARU's failure to cut a side after the initial announcement back in April that a decision would be made within 48 to 72 hours.