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Thread: Australia's new coach?

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    Champion Contributor Jehna's Avatar
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    Australia's new coach?

    ARU cranks up chase for Deans

    By Peter Jenkins
    October 08, 2007


    AUSTRALIAN Rugby Union officials are likely to table a huge offer to Robbie Deans in the next few weeks for the New Zealander to become the Wallabies' first overseas coach.

    It is believed the ARU will fast-track plans to lure the successful Crusaders boss after the All Blacks also crashed out of the World Cup quarter-finals in a horror weekend for the two southern hemisphere heavyweights.

    Sources have confirmed the early exit for the All Blacks - their worst World Cup finish - will have the New Zealand Rugby Union dismantling their current coaching team and also racing to sign Deans for the country's top job.

    The ARU's only chance of gazumping their trans-Tasman neighbours appears to rest with a take-it-or-leave-it big-money play for the provincial coach with an unmatched record of success in Super 12 and Super 14.

    There are six contenders on the existing ARU shortlist - Deans, current Wallaby assistant coaches Scott Johnson and John Muggleton, NSW coach Ewen McKenzie, Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher and Auckland Blues coach David Nucifora.

    Nucifora was interviewed on Saturday, Johnson and Muggleton have been spoken to during the Cup, while a meeting with Deans is believed to be planned for next week.

    The Wallabies' loss could affect the prospects of Johnson, previously considered next in line if Deans declines the job. But Johnson, like Deans, is likely to have other options outside Australia.

    Speculation persists that the Wallabies' attack coach will be offered a role with Wales, who sacked head coach Gareth Jenkins after his side's failure to reach the sudden-death stages.

    ARU chief executive John O'Neill denied that the All Blacks' exit, the NZRU's expected approach to Deans and the Welsh interest in Johnson had emerged as major roadblocks if a six-man ARU selection committee decides the New Zealander or the Wallabies assistant should succeed the retiring John Connolly.

    "You have to accept that it's a natural by-product of a very competitive international market," he said.

    "Scott Johnson has done a wonderful job for us and if he's considered for the Welsh position, all credit to him. There are a number of coaches around the world out of jobs at the moment and a number just hanging on. That's why we quite correctly said we would wait until the World Cup was over before finalising our position."

    O'Neill also refused to be drawn on any imminent offer to Deans.

    "We've got a process in place, there is a timetable, and we'll continue to follow that," he said. "But we do have the view that we would like to sort out the coaching issue as soon as we possibly can.

    "At this stage we're looking at early November, certainly not too long after the World Cup final on October 20."

    Connolly will leave the Test post after a two-year stint where the Wallabies won 15 of 24 matches, losing eight and drawing one.

    "I'm obviously disappointed," he said of the 12-10 quarter-final defeat. "But rugby has been wonderful for me over the last 20 years. It's been a wonderful ride and I have no complaints whatsoever. I started in the amateur era and I'm very fortunate to have made a living out of it over the last 10 years."

    The Daily Telegraph


    __________________________________
    Johnson heads list of candidates

    From correspondents in Marseille
    October 08, 2007


    SCOTT Johnson is the slight favourite to become the next Wallabies coach as Australian rugby faces a major shake-up in the wake of its disastrous World Cup campaign.

    Current attack coach Johnson and Brumbies mentor Laurie Fisher are the leading contenders in an open race after John Connolly's two-year reign ended with the 12-10 quarter-final loss to England.

    New Zealand's own shock 20-18 defeat to France on a crazy quarter-final weekend is likely to cull Crusaders guru Robbie Deans from the Wallabies candidates as he's now the odds-on to be the next All Blacks coach.

    A desire for coaching continuity among Wallabies players and some officials makes Johnson the strongest candidate as he works well with both forwards assistant Michael Foley and defence coach John Muggleton, who is also applying for the post.

    Dissatisfied ARU chief John O'Neill says the appointment of a new national coach will only be the start of a major overhaul after Australia's equal worst World Cup result.

    "A semi-final position was our objective and we didn't achieve that objective," O'Neill said in Marseille.

    "We've got to aim up for the next four years to achieve a level of pre-eminence in the game."

    O'Neill is hopeful of announcing Connolly's successor in the coming month so that the operation to restore Australian rugby's tarnished reputation can begin in earnest.

    "The process is under way," he said. "It's a critical appointment as we start to rebuild and really re-engineer Australian rugby."

    New Zealander Deans, coach of six-times Super 12/14 champions the Crusaders, had been considered the early favourite.

    But even O'Neill acknowledged Deans could be out of the running now that Graham Henry's demise as All Blacks coach seemed assured after their loss in Cardiff - despite it being only the All Blacks' sixth defeat in 48 Tests since the 2003 World Cup.

    Henry's assistant Steve Hansen was perfectly placed to succeed Henry but will likely pay the traditional New Zealand price for another World Cup disappointment.

    "Robbie Deans will clearly be a candidate for the All Black job, I would imagine. It could take him out of the running for the Wallaby job," O'Neill said.

    Deans out of the equation would please many big names in Australian rugby, including Connolly, who again expressed his hope a foreigner would not be appointed.

    "The preferred option is the best person for the job and if happens to be an Australian, then that's a bonus," O'Neill said.

    "We want to get the best person for the job and we've got some very good candidates."

    Apart from Johnson, Muggleton, Australia A coach Fisher, the list also includes New South Wales Waratahs' coach Ewen McKenzie and Auckland Blues' mentor David Nucifora, who has been interviewed in recent days.

    Foley has impressed key figures with his development of Australia's young forwards and is seen as head coach material but he today again ruled himself out of the main job.

    "We've got to let the dust settle a bit and then we'll have discussions with Scott Johnson and John Muggleton," said O'Neill.

    He conceded the Wallabies' failure was a setback for rugby in Australia, where the sport has to fight with rugby league, AFL and football for fans and the all-important corporate dollar.

    "In the proper context, we've got a lot of challenges at the moment," he said.

    "It's not the end of the world by any stretch, but we've got to face the fact that some of our popularity measures are down, crowds, ratings etc. "I think we've dropped down the pecking order in Australia, from where we were in 2003, and we're going to have to get back there.

    "It won't happen overnight, it won't happen by talking about it. It's going to have a very rigorous, very sensible and very rational approach."

    AAP

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Let's hope we get him. Mitchell and Deans are good mates, and if Deans takes the All Blacks job, he may just have enough influence on Mitchell to get him back over the other side of the ditch...

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    Veteran Sagerian's Avatar
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    Ooh two for one day with article posting hehe..


    Why not "Crazy Graham Henry"? So long as he doesn't try that resting and rotation policy crap here.

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    Veteran Jess's Avatar
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    Two for the price of one.

    Bring back Rod Macqueen! What's he doing these days?

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    I made Happy sad...

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    Veteran Sagerian's Avatar
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    Making bucks.. and i doubt he'd want to get his hands on this trainwreck that is the wallabies.

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    Veteran Jess's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    It's not a trainwreck... in much better shape now than when Eddie was pushed off ship. Knuckles didn't do so bad.

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    I made Happy sad...

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    still room for improvement. but then again there always is. were entering a re-building phase as well so whoever is appointed should be looking to be able to build us back up again in time for the tri nations i guess.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Deans or Nucifora for my money

    We need to sever the ties with the current paradigm, the game plan didn't work. Scott Johnston as attack coach, wasn't 100% successful otherwise we would've been able to attack against England. Mick Foley as forwards coach, did a bit, but I think he has assessed his performance as sub-par since our Forwards were the ones who got their asses handed to them by the poms. Muggles as defence coach,OK but not really an option as head coach right now. Laurie Fisher? What did Aus A do that was worth mentioning? Ewen McKenzie? Why? coz he can beat the Reds? Sorry, the short list is REALLY short in my books Two people, and both of them have been coaching in NZ for the last few years (Quite succesfully I might add)

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    C'mon the

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    its david nucifora for me as deans will take the ABs job, and do very well there, as there is no world cup for another 4 years nucifora has a get out clause in his blues contract where he can walk away to coach a national side.

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    The Lone Hydrangea's Avatar
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    Im with Slomo and GIGST on this. Nucifora for me. Lets hope the candidates are outside the NSW/ QLD club loop and can show a bit of independence( Deans definitely can)

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    If the NZRU sack Graham Henry, like myself and alot of people are expecting, i think that Robbie Deans would be the next coach of New Zealand should he be offered the job of course. So the ARU needs to get in asap and at least make an offer to him, he can accept or refuse the offer. Nucifora had a falling out with the senior players at the Brumbies didnt he?? But with the retirements of Gregan and Larkham that shouldnt be a problem (i'm not saying that they were the insigators of that unfortunate business at the Brumbies a couple of years ago but i'd heard that it ws basicly a coup led by SENIOR players)

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    Veteran Sagerian's Avatar
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    ...and the senior Blues players had a similar falling out not too long ago.. Hmm, wonder if there's a connection there.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Lone Hydrangea
    Lets hope the candidates are outside the NSW/ QLD club loop and can show a bit of independence( Deans definitely can)
    I agree with that, none of this "Jobs for the boys" rubbish. Best man for the job, i dont think it matters if the best men for the job are currently coaching in NZ (although one of them is an aussie)

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  14. #14
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagerian
    ...and the senior Blues players had a similar falling out not too long ago.. Hmm, wonder if there's a connection there.
    hadnt heard about that one Sage, interesting though............

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    ...and a world class scrum coach needs to be at the top of the shopping list!

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