According to The Daily Telegraph, there’s an official shortlist that’s been drawn up for the role of Head Coach of the Australia Rugby Team. Never mind that at the same time they’re putting ads out for applications – how does this make sense? Anyway, what can we make of the runners and riders at this stage?
The short list:
- Robbie Deans – already got the job according to Growdens “sources”, which is a good reason why he hasn’t
- David Nucifora – prickly bugger has re-signed as Auckland coach but has a get out
- John Muggleton – fiery ex-mungo but defensive guru
- Ewen McKenzie – great ’07 season with the Tahs Link
- Scott Johnson – players best mate, but best candidate?
- Laurie Fisher – just looks crazy
So let’s start with the eliminations. First up, the easy one – Fuggles the mungo. Going deranged at an ARU alicadoo a few weeks before interviews ain’t a great ice breaker. What’s interesting though is what the defensive guru said in another Daily Telegraph interview called Muggo’s going for broke:
Muggleton, while keen on the big prize, would happily work as an assistant to Johnson.
“In fact the three of us work really well together,” he said. “All that s . . . about us not getting on is rubbish.
“I’d work for either and I’d expect they’d be quite happy to work for me because we wouldn’t be working for each other, we’d be working with each other. “That’s what it’s all about.”
What this says loud and clear is that Muggles knows he ain’t up for the big gig, as does Johnson; they’ve talked about it and have decided instead to try and form some dream assistant coaching team together with Foley, who isn’t bothering with the charade. Also, assistant coaches should never get the leg up – check out what happened with Andy Robinson up here.
Next easy no is Link McKenzie. Just check out the Tahs last season, and the re-signing debacles – he’s got a long way to go.
So the real contenders are Deans, Nucifora and Fisher. Of these, Fisher seems to be on the shakiest ground. Still has something of the assistant coach about him and Australia A didn’t exactly kick arse. Also, looks crazy.
Nucifora has built success in Super rugby as he did with the Brumbies, doing a pretty good turn-around job on the Blues and in the meantime putting a few noses out of joint again. Perhaps a settled assistant coaching team could dilute his spikiness?
As for Deans, well it’s an interesting one. He’s sure as hell got the success record but shit, he’s a kiwi. Could England have a French coach or vice versa? Would the Kiwi’s ever take an Aussie one for the ABs? O’Neill does has form for this over with the Hiddink and the chav-ballers (soccer)….but just too weird.
Overall then, despite gossiping Greg having Deans as a shoo-in, I have Nuke-ifora as an equal bet with the kiwi. Is there anyone else out there?
Picture care of The Daily Telegraph