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    Brumbies' coaches jockey for jobs

    Brumbies' coaches jockey for jobs

    By Bret Harris
    April 09, 2008

    WHILE Ewen McKenzie's future has been settled by New South Wales, the coaching merry-go-round in Australian rugby is still in full swing.

    And the Brumbies' coaching staff of Laurie Fisher, Matt O'Connor and Nick Scrivener are at the centre of much of the speculation.

    The Brumbies announced at the start of the year they would call for applications for the job as head coach in the second half of the season and that the incumbent Laurie Fisher would have to re-apply.

    While the Brumbies are doing their best to keep their selection process private, rumours keep circulating in the national capital.

    Former Waratahs assistant and now Harlequins coach, Andy Friend, appears to be firming for the job if Fisher is not reappointed, which is still a possibility.

    Friend is a former Canberra schoolboy star and worked as a skills coach at the Brumbies during Eddie Jones's era.

    It is understood Friend was considered strongly for the Brumbies job when Fisher was a leading candidate to replace John Connolly as Australia coach before a regime change at the ARU.

    Fisher entered the season under pressure after failing to guide the two-time champions and perennial semi-finalists to the top four in his previous three years at the helm.

    It has been suggested Fisher could remain on the staff as the forwards coach, a role he performed successfully under head coach David Nucifora when the Brumbies won the title in 2004.

    If any coach could accept such a role reversal it is Fisher, who has the admirable quality of being able to sacrifice his own ego in the best interests of the team, which is not something you could truthfully say about most coaches.

    With a backline expert such as Friend as coach, the Brumbies probably would not need a backs coach, which may explain the speculation that O'Connor has sounded out the Force for a job.

    There may be a vacancy at Force as incumbent backs' coach John Mulvihill is believed to be interested in the NSW job as head coach.

    For a time there was a strong rumour that NSW had offered the top job to McKenzie's assistant, Todd Louden.

    As a result of the controversy over McKenzie's axing, Louden announced that he was not a candidate for the Waratahs, but he did not say he would turn it down if they offered him the job.

    Louden is expected to be interviewed for the Brumbies job, but is unlikely to get it. Perhaps this is why he is showing renewed interest in Japanese club Ricoh.

    Ricoh indicated recently that they were going with their second choice, believed to be Scrivener, but sources say Louden is now back in contention.

    When McKenzie gets on a plane for Paris next week for an interview with French club Stade Francais, he will no doubt be pleased to leave the scramble for positions in Australia far behind.

    Brumbies' coaches jockey for jobs - Super 14 - Fox Sports

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