World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer is urging ARU chief Bill Pulver and his board to resign as Australian rugby fans endure the gloomiest start to a season in the professional era.

Dwyer says he can't imagine what Wallabies coach Michael Cheika must be thinking after 11 losses from as many games for Australia's Super Rugby teams against New Zealand opposition in 2017.

But that's merely his concerns at the elite level, with Dwyer disillusioned by declining player numbers across the country and a "total lack of leadership in the game".

"The board and Bill need to resign," Dwyer told AAP on Thursday.

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"The game is not only the Wallabies, the game is not only Super Rugby. The game is all those who play and support the game.

"After all, the people who play and support the game are the ones who fund the game.

"They're the people we have to satisfy."

Dwyer believed much of the Australian rugby community agreed with him.

"If you go to all those people, you go to all those junior clubs, all the country clubs, all the district clubs in Sydney and Brisbane and Melbourne and ask them what they think about the leadership of the game, I guarantee you, if we get a Morgan Gallop poll on this, you'll get five per cent support for the leadership," he said.

"It's got to the stage where people are just sick of talking about it."

Continuing his attack on the game's governing body, Dwyer questioned the ARU's "ludicrous" response to a recent Roy Morgan poll that claimed only 55,000 men, women, and children were now playing rugby while participation levels in other football codes rose.

"There's 55,000 registered players in Australia now, which is probably about the same as there are in Auckland," he said.

"A (ARU) spokesman says 'no, no, that figure is inaccurate, we have 171 thousand-odd people who participated in five rugby experiences or more during the year'. What sort of comment is that?" he said.

"It's not only an answer that's not an answer, it's an answer that makes people think 55,000 registered players is probably right."

Dwyer was concerned by the performances and preparation of the Australian Super Rugby teams and said Cheika would probably need a month-long camp to get his Wallabies squad up to speed for the international season.

However, he believed Australia could sustain five teams in Super Rugby.

To do so, the 1991 World Cup-winning mentor said the ARU needed to invest more on coaching education, as it did in the late 1970s when a host of former internationals learnt their trade under the direction of the legendary Dick Marks.

"It worked like a charm," Dwyer said.

"That group brought through an era for Australian rugby that had us at or near the top for a long time.

"Not only at the top in terms of results, but in terms of performance and innovation.

"Now, most of the coaches that come through and indeed most of the coaches that come through at the highest level, have been guys that have left Australia and coached overseas and come back.

"If we take Michael Cheika, Daryl Gibson, Ewen McKenzie, Jim McKay, who was with Ewen, Tony McGahan, Morgan Turinui, Dave Wessels over in Perth, Shaun Berne over in Perth, all these guys have not been part of the coaching development program in Australia.

"I mean, our new Wallabies skills coach (Mick Byrne) was the All Blacks skills coach for I don't know how many years - and he's an Aussie.

"Now I look at New Zealand teams and think they play how we used to play.

"And we play the way they used to play."

-AAP