The shock resignation of Ewen McKenzie has left the Wallabies in disarray less than a year out from the 2015 World Cup with no obvious heir apparent. Here we take a look at the …. potential contenders who could lead the Wallabies into the World Cup next year…
The Waratahs Head Coach has just steered his side to their maiden Super Rugby title and would be a popular choice amongst Wallabies fans. He advocates an open attacking style of play which would appease many Wallaby fans and potentially play to the national sides strengths. The concern would be his lack of experience at the top level, particularly when he would be taking over a side in disarray that seems controlled by player power.
The former Brumbies man has conveniently just left his latest post with the Sharks to take an advisory role with the Tongan national side suggesting he may have been lining up this move for a while. White was many people’s favourite for the Wallabies job after Deans departure before it went to McKenzie, and there’s no doubt he has the experience to get the Wallabies on the right track although his conservative tactics may leave some fans disappointed.
Jones is the current Head Coach of Japan and has already had one spell in charge of the Wallabies ensuring he has plenty of international pedigree. He also recently steered Japan into the IRB top 10 for the first time showing he is a more than capable coach. The question would be however would he want to leave an improving Japanese side, especially with a home World Cup in 2019.
Something of a controversial one but the former Wallabies coach is a name being touted as a potential option for the ARU to consider. Having been involved with the Wallabies as recently as last year he would be able to slot in quite easily just a year out from the World Cup due to already being acquainted with the setup. The issue however is that many fans would rather have no coach than Deans back.
Given the time constraints in place with the Wallabies tour of the Northern Hemisphere just weeks away the availability of Mallett may appeal to the ARU. He may not be a universally popular choice but he proved during his time with Italy that he is capable of improving an under-performing side and could be just what the Wallabies require, especially given his international experience to date.
The Brumbies coach may not have been able to emulate the success of Jake White at the Brumbies yet but he certainly has them on the right track. There are even rumours he could join Michael Cheika to form a coaching team although this now seems unlikely. Larkham is seen as a Wallabies coach in waiting although his lack of coaching experience could count against him.
Sir Graham Henry
The former All Blacks coach could be an ideal short-term option to lead the Wallabies into next years World Cup before being succeeded by either Cheika or Larkham. There’s no doubting his credentials as an international coach, the biggest questions however would be over whether he still has the desire to coach at the top level and whether Wallaby fans and players would accept a former All Blacks coach.
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