Cantabrian Rob Penney is tipped to take over as the Waratahs Super Rugby coach in what is being described as a Kiwi coaching invasion.
Former All Black lock Brad Thorn, who had a stellar league career in Australia, is in charge of Queensland.
“Australia’s three most important rugby sides could all be coached by Kiwis by the end of the year,” rugby writer Georgina Robinson reckoned.
“…the search for Daryl Gibson’s replacement at the Waratahs has highlighted how poor Australia’s coaching pathways have become.
“The NSW Rugby board wanted an Australian with Super Rugby head coaching experience or above and, after England attack consultant Scott Wisemantel knocked them back, could only find one person available, Damien Hill, who matched the criteria.
“…it is understood Penney remains the frontrunner due to his experience and track record mentoring younger coaches.”
Another Cantabrian Robbie Deans created major headlines when he became the Wallaby coach in 2008, having been cruelly rejected by the All Blacks.
The SMH quoted All Black halfback great Justin Marshall, now prominent as a TV commentator, as saying: “I didn’t think Australia would go back to having another foreigner in charge but if you’re going to say that, is there an obvious candidate from within?
“I was banging the drum quite a lot saying we shouldn’t let Dave Rennie go before he left. I felt that he was a potential All Blacks coach and he offers too much experience and knowledge to let him go into the wide world and educate himself there.
“I thought surely we could create a role somewhere for him to fit into our system. Do I think it would be good for Australian rugby? Yes, because he’s a brilliant coach and he’s got the credentials to bring the best out of players.”
Outstanding Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and current All Black assistant Ian Foster will be the frontrunners to take over from Steve Hansen after the World Cup, with the likes of Jamie Joseph also in the mix.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.