McKenzie poised to sign new Reds deal
July 11, 2011
Ewen McKenzie's Reds were crowned Super Rugby kings in Brisbane on Saturday night © Getty Images
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie is set to celebrate his side's Super Rugby success by agreeing a new contract with the Brisbane-based franchise.
McKenzie's side clinched this year's Super Rugby glory with an 18-13 victory over the Crusaders on Saturday night to the delight of a sold-out Suncorp Stadium crowd. The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) are expected to reward the 46-year-old former Wallabies prop with a new contract while the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have also signalled their interest in his services.
"I'm contracted for next year and we have already talked about life beyond that," McKenzie told AAP in the wake of his side's historic triumph, "but we've been busy so now we have a chance for more discussions."
The ARU are currently in contract talks with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans in the hope of agreeing terms that will see him stay in charge of the national side until 2013 when the British & Irish Lions will visit the country.
But speaking last week, ARU boss John O'Neill revealed that they are keen to see McKenzie return to the international stage having served as an assistant coach and coaching coordinator to both Rod Macqueen and Eddie Jones at between 2000 and 2003
"The revival of rugby in Australia has been Reds led," O'Neill told the Daily Telegraph. "The renaissance has been quite extraordinary from an organisation that is now a leader, where a few years ago it was at an all-time low and with a business that was insolvent.
"Robbie Deans is the incumbent Wallabies coach and we are looking to extend for another two seasons to the end of 2013. No one can preordain outcomes but to the question: Are we confident Ewen McKenzie is in our plans as a successor? Yes we are."
McKenzie, a Rugby World Cup winner with the Wallabies in 1991, won 51 Test caps before embarking on a coaching career that has included spells with the Brumbies, Waratahs and Stade France in France. Before Saturday's success, he had suffered final agony at the hands of the Crusaders on three occasions - as assistant coach with the Brumbies in 2000 and as coach of the Waratahs in 2006 and 2008.
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