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Thread: O'Neill explores ways to keep Connolly

  1. #1
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    O'Neill explores ways to keep Connolly

    JOHN CONNOLLY continues to tease and tantalise about his future in rugby.

    He is indicating he would never say never about applying for the position of Wallabies head coach, but it may be another key position will be created for him.

    As far as the Australian Rugby Union is concerned, Connolly is finishing up after the World Cup and is proceeding on that basis, drawing up a high-profile panel headed by chief executive John O'Neill to choose his successor and advertising the job worldwide.

    O'Neill does not envisage Connolly remaining in the job, although he revealed yesterday the two of them had discussed the possibility of another position being created for the Wallabies coach to ensure his knowledge and expertise were not lost to the game in Australia.

    "I've had one brief conversation with John about him staying on after the World Cup, possibly structuring a position for him in the talent identification area, in which he is outstanding," O'Neill said. "But him staying on as head coach has never been raised.

    "I inherited John's arrangements with my predecessor (Gary Flowers) and it's my understanding that it's his intention that, win, lose or draw, he would step down at the end of the World Cup."

    If Connolly's Wallabies were to qualify for the final, that almost by definition would mean the All Blacks had been eliminated. In the blood-letting that would follow in New Zealand, Canterbury's Robbie Deans -- the man favoured to succeed Connolly as coach of the Australia -- almost certainly would be installed as the new All Blacks coach.

    In that event, the question being asked in Australian rugby is, "who's next in line"? None of the potential candidates has credentials the equal of Connolly, who took over the Wallabies when they were a wreck of a team at the end of a 2005 campaign in which they had lost eight of their nine previous Tests.

    Connolly, meanwhile, is being portrayed in Wales as a whingeing Australian for complaining that it is unfair for the Wallabies to have to concede home-ground advantage to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday in a match that forms part of a World Cup hosted by France.

    Yet Wales coach Gareth Jenkins has virtually conceded Connolly has a point. "There is no question that we have an advantage by playing Australia at home," Jenkins told The Guardian newspaper.

    "But it is one that will only count if we are united as a nation. Playing Australia in Cardiff for us is better than it would have been in France but it will still be about our performance. The difference is that we will have, I hope, 70,000 voices roaring us on."

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...012430,00.html

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    Player Jethro's Avatar
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    but it may be another key position will be created for him.
    Wasn't O'Neill on about cutting ARU costs a few weeks ago?

    Canterbury's Robbie Deans -- the man favoured to succeed Connolly as coach of the Australia -- almost certainly would be installed as the new All Blacks coach.
    Pure conjecture, there's a number of blokes inline if Henry drops the ball in France.


    Connolly, meanwhile, is being portrayed in Wales as a whingeing Australian for complaining that it is unfair for the Wallabies to have to concede home-ground advantage to Wales in Cardiff
    Following in the tradition of Eddie "moans" as the saffas called him. Gee should the Oz games in 2003 have been taken to neutral venues? And heaven forbid those dastardly ABs will have home ground advantage in Twenty11. If you are good enough venue doesn't matter, the Wallabies are going to rip them a new one regardless.

    It's rather amusing watching Knuckles outdoing himself in trying to make the aussies look like the underdogs in this clash. Only concern for the good guys in Cardiff is any injuries resulting.

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    Coaches maintain the rage

    Coaches maintain the rage

    From Peter Jenkins in Montpellier, France
    September 14, 2007


    FORMER Australia coach Eddie Jones reignited a bitter feud with successor John Connolly when telling the Wallabies coach that it was time he stood down.

    Connolly has not ruled out launching a bid to stay at the helm if Australia wins the Rugby World Cup final in Paris next month.

    But Jones, who lost his job to Connolly after a disastrous European tour two years ago, said the Australian Rugby Union should start afresh as part of a long-term strategy for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

    "If they win the World Cup here he's entitled to come into contention," Jones said. "But Australia needs a bit of change, some new blood to come in.

    "His assistant coaches have done a good job and the ARU need to look for someone who will take the side through for another four years. That's important. The next coach should be given the time to really build the side over that period."

    According to Jones, that man is not Connolly.

    "Look at most international coaches," he said.

    "With a couple of exceptions, they're four or five years maximum in the job."

    Jones admitted last month that he should have resigned after the 2003 World Cup final. He had been Wallabies coach for 2 seasons.

    Instead, he sought and received a contract extension only to be dumped two years before it expired.

    "What I learned is that it's hard to coach from one World Cup to the next," Jones said. "Maybe after each World Cup it's good to have a change.

    "I didn't think that at the time because emotion overrules it. When you coach a national side you want to keep doing it."

    His latest comments on Connolly will further fuel bad blood between the pair.

    Connolly attacked Jones at the start of the year when fullback Chris Latham suffered a serious knee injury in pre-season training with the Queensland Reds.

    The ARU launched an inquiry into whether Latham should have been resting-- an investigation Jones branded "an absolute joke". He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

    The sniping continued when Jones took on a role with the Springboks after resigning from the Reds in the wake of their wooden-spoon season in Super 14.

    "I hope Eddie helps South Africa the way he helped Queensland," Connolly said.

    "As a professional coach, I guess he can go where he wants. But, to me, it's about doing what's right."

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd like to play a high stakes game of poker with Knuckles at the table.

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