Wallabies need to adapt says new coach McKenzie
Australia's most capped Test prop Ewen McKenzie has appointed assistant Wallaby coach - and immediately warned the World Cup winners would need to adapt their style.
McKenzie, 34, played 51 Tests between 1990 and 1997 and has filled the position of ACT Brumbies forwards coach since 1998. He takes over from Jeff Miller in the national deputy coaching role to the end of 2001 when the contract of Wallaby coach Rod Macqueen also expires.
McKenzie said that even though Australia had won the World Cup just last year, the game had already changed considerably. "The Wallaby game will have to obviously adapt as well, because it's a different game now to what it was 12 months ago," said the former prop. "The tackle rule has changed, so there's a lot more phases there, less scrums, less scrum re-sets. It's still a fairly defence-orientated game, but obviously there's opportunity to work on how to beat defences."
"Once again, the game is changing and we have to be able to adapt to that," agreed Macqueen.
"Having people that are at the coal face like Ewen is obviously going to help us as we go along," he said.
Macqueen and McKenzie are the only full-time members of the Wallaby coaching panel. McKenzie played under Macqueen at both the New South Wales Waratahs and Brumbies where they helped the ACT side achieve Super 12 status.
Macqueen said Miller, former Wallaby captain Andrew Slack and himself would be the national selectors this year but confirmed there was a possibility McKenzie would take one of the places next season.