McKenzie sets sights on Ireland job
April 4, 2013
Ewen McKenzie is the bookies' favourite to replace Declan Kidney © Getty Images
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has admitted that the Ireland post is the type of job that he is "interested in looking at" but he is yet to hear from the Irish Rugby Football Union.
The IRFU announced on Tuesday that it would not be renewing the contract of Declan Kidney when it comes to an end in June. In his place, Les Kiss will take temporary control of their summer tour to North America while the body in charge of Irish rugby seeks to find a permanent successor for Kidney.
Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has already ruled himself out of contention while Saracens CEO Ed Griffiths is adamant that they will fight to keep Mark McCall at the club. Clermont Auvergne's Vern Cotter's name has also been thrown into the mix, but he is keen to see out his contract at the Top 14 club.
But McKenzie, who has coached Stade Francais in the past and also led the Reds to Super Rugby glory in 2011, has already announced that he will leave his post in Queensland at the end of the current season. He would be available for the Ireland job if they decide to approach him and he has admitted that he would be open to talks.
"I have said I am looking for coaching challenges at the next level and I am looking for whatever the possibilities are," McKenzie told Sydney's Daily Telegraph. "It's the type of job I am interested in looking at but there have been no discussions. I have stated I would like the Wallabies job but it's all in the timing. You have to look around what's available when you're looking for a job.
"I have made it clear the challenge of coaching at that level is what interests me but there aren't many opportunities at Test level and you can't control the timing."
Leinster's Joe Schmidt has also been mentioned as a possible candidate and their veteran second-row Leo Cullen concedes that the Kiwi would be a great fit for Ireland. "I suppose Joe is right in front of their [the IRFU's] noses," Cullen told the Telegraph. "Joe is very driven and I think he could certainly improve any team he works with.
"He would be a real addition. We would hope, with Leinster, that he would stay on for another couple of years but if the chance came with Ireland I don't think anyone at Leinster would begrudge him."
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