Ewen McKenzie is one step closer to the Wallabies head coach role after it was announced yesterday he would be assuming the role of Reds Director of Coaching in 2013 before transitioning to Queensland Rugby’s inaugural Director of Rugby in 2014.
Current Western Force coach Richard Graham will be returning to Qld to take over as head coach from 2013.
The new structure being put in place is aligned to the structure seen in many clubs in Europe and will allow McKenzie the freedom to step into the Wallabies role when it becomes available after the British and Irish Lions tour in 2013.
McKenzie has been linked to the Wallabies coaching role for some time and many were shocked when Robbie Deans’ contract was renewed for a further two years before the Rugby World Cup last year.
After the Wallabies Rugby World Cup performance Robbie Deans’ performance has come under a lot of scrutiny with many calling for his head. Deans must be aware that if he is to stay in the job he must gain some important wins including the Bledisloe Cup, Rugby Championship and the 2013 Lions tour.
ARU boss John O’Neill last week declared on ‘The Rugby Club’ that McKenzie was the obvious successor to Deans.
McKenzie is denying any discussions with the ARU have taken place.
‘I’ve had no discussions with the ARU about anything. This is just myself talking to Jim (Carmichael), talking to Rod McCall and the board about trying to put the best plan in for Queensland. That’s it.
‘You can speculate all you like but it’s entirely about that.
‘I just look at what I can control and what I can do and at the moment we’re concentrating on beating the Stormers.’