Australia: Dan McKellar ‘not a done deal’ to become next Wallabies head coach

Colin Newboult

Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos says that it is not guaranteed that Dan McKellar will take over from Dave Rennie as the next Wallabies boss.

McKellar joined Rennie’s coaching team last year, to go alongside his work at the Brumbies, but will leave the Canberra outfit and go full-time following the end of the current Super Rugby Pacific season.

That has led to suggestions the 45-year-old is being earmarked as the next Australia head coach once Rennie departs.

Brad Thorn has also put his hat in the ring, saying that he would be ‘honoured’ to take on the role, but Marinos insists that nothing has been decided.

No heir apparent

“No, it’s certainly not a done deal,” he told AAP. “We have a Wallabies coach and we are happy with our coach. There is no ‘heir apparent’.

“You’ve got to have succession but Dan’s coming in with a point of difference from a forward’s perspective and adding that value.

“Absolutely (Thorn is a contender); at no stage have we said it’s a closed shop or made a pre-determination.

“We believe Dave is the right man to take us forward but it’s about building the resources around us so that, you never know, if anyone needs to take over they’re in a good position to do so.”

With McKellar coaching the Brumbies and also combining that with his work at the Wallabies, it may cause an issue, especially in regards to selection, but Marinos rejected that claim.

“I don’t think it’s a conflict of interest when you’re coaching at a national level you’re there to put what’s best for the national team,” he said.

“Ultimately Dave takes full responsibility for the final decision.”

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