Super Rugby-winning Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has confirmed his interest in replacing Declan Kidney as Ireland coach.
Super Rugby-winning Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has confirmed his interest in replacing Declan Kidney as Ireland head coach.
Kidney left his post on Tuesday after the Irish Rugby Football Union announced they would not renew his contract when it expires on June 30.
Former Wallabies prop McKenzie has long been linked to the job since announcing he would leave Queensland at the end of the current Super Rugby season to pursue an international post.
He instantly became a potential candidate for the role when Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea ruled himself out of contention and Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths equally said Mark McCall was committed to the Premiership club.
While McKenzie – who led the Reds to the Super Rugby title in 2011 – has admitted he has not been in contact with the IRFU, he has made it clear he would be interested in starting discussions.
“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.”
Among the other names mentioned in recent weeks has been New Zealander Joe Schmidt, who guided Leinster to two European Cup triumphs.
Les Kiss, Ireland's defence coach who worked with McKenzie at the Waratahs, has been appointed as interim head coach for the June Tests against the United States and Canada.