Chiefs boss Dave Rennie is not interested on becoming an All Blacks assistant coach to help him gain the top job after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
When announcing that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had signed a new deal until after the 2019 World Cup, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Steve Tew said Hansen's successor would be involved at the global showpiece in Japan – presumably meaning with the All Blacks.
Rennie is viewed as a leading contender to take over the reins as the world champions' coach from Hansen but has always said he still wants to coach abroad.
He is currently contracted to the Chiefs until the end of 2017, with an option for 2018. If he stays on until 2018, it will mean he has a short window to take up an overseas coaching role before taking charge of the All Blacks, if Hansen leaves his position after the 2019 World Cup.
So it would make sense to accept a position as an All Blacks assistant if such a role became available. But he indicated on Wednesday that he is only interested becoming the All Blacks' head coach.
"I don't see myself doing an assistant role," Rennie told Fairfax Media.
"If I stayed in New Zealand, I'd stay with the Chiefs."
NZR have kept Hansen's possible replacements – of which Rennie is one – up to date with developments regarding the position and Rennie praised the NZR's decision to reappoint Hansen.
"I think it's a good move by New Zealand [Rugby], he's a good coach, been really successful, and why would you push someone out the door whose doing such a good job," he added.
"Who knows, he may stay here till '23 or '27, you know.
"There's only one job isn't there, and there's a lot of people who probably want it," Rennie said.
"I'm not sure that everyone will wait around for it, and maybe a bit of luck about timing, if you're around and available when it becomes available.
"Nothing changes from my point of view.
"I've talked a lot about planning to head overseas at some stage. Anyway, the focus is on the Chiefs at the moment, and I'll worry about that stuff maybe next year."