Australia slumped to a third loss in a row in the third Bledisloe Cup match but behind the scenes issues appear to have been the main reason the former Red coach stepped down.
His resignation comes less than a fortnight before the Wallabies’ take on the Barbarians at Twickenham in their opening autumn international in Europe before facing Wales, France, Ireland and England.
It also leaves the side looking for a coach ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
The decision comes in the wake of the Kurtley Beale text scandal which saw the resignation of a staff member brought into the fold by McKenzie.
“My intention was to resign win, lose or draw,” McKenzie said. “I’ve been unhappy with a bunch of things.”
“The easiest thing for me is to exit stage left.
“I’ll leave you guys to speculate or ponder, I’ll write a chapter in my book.”
The Australian Rugby Union’s CEO Bill Pulver confirmed McKenzie wasn’t pushed but jumped.
“Ewen is a world-class coach and a world-class individual who has been committed to playing entertaining rugby for our fans since he started in the role,” Pulver said.
McKenzie leaves with a dismal record of 11 wins from 22 Tests.
Jake White, and Michael Cheika are the front-runners for the post as Pulver looks for “a coach who can lead us to victory in next year’s Rugby World Cup, represents rugby’s core values, has the support of the playing group and is available”.
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