More than a dozen people had applied for head and assistant coaching jobs with the national team, with the deadline for applications reached on Friday.
ARU high performance manager Peter Davis told ABC Sport he expects the new coach will be known by early next month. “Contrary to some things I’ve been seeing and hearing recently I think we do have a good crop,” he said. “We’ve got certainly people with national and international experience. People who have coached in different countries and I’m very happy with the level of people that have put their hand up.”
McKenzie was widely regarded as the best choice to fill the position made available after former coach Eddie Jones was sacked late last year. But he pulled out of the running last week. Auckland Blues coach David Nucifora was also thought to be high on the list of candidates, but he also revealed he had not applied for the position.
No Aussies for Pacific comp
The new Pacific rugby competition will no longer field an Australian side when it kicks off in June. The International Rugby Board (IRB) announced the five nations as Fiji, Japan, Tonga, Samoa and the junior All Blacks.
The competition is an initiative sparked by the IRB to ensure second-tier nations such as Japan and Tonga are given chances to play on a more regular basis. Australia is yet to decide whether it will field a second national XV in the competition.
The event will kick off in June 2006, with each team playing four matches, two home and two away. www.sportal.com.au