Blues board split over Kirwan

Date published: May 21 2015

The future of Blues coach John Kirwan remains unclear as the team's bosses continue to struggle to come to a decision over his contract.

The former Super Rugby champions have endured a wretched season and sit at the bottom of the New Zealand conference with just three wins from their 13 games.

The Blues board had initially set a deadline for the end of May to confirm their head coach for 2016 but have been unable to reach consensus over whether or not to extend the former All Black winger and Japan coach's contract.

With the team in limbo, it's near-impossible to recruit new players or retain others with 12 places on the Blues' roster still to be filled for next year.

"The board hasn't met this week so they are working through the process through the chairman. There's no formal meeting scheduled but that will happen soon," said Blues chief executive Michael Redman.

"The original deadline was the end of May and ideally we'd stick to that but I expect it will push out now but not far we hope."

"It's not ideal and certainly the way things played out last week is not ideal for our sponsors, members and fans, but in the end it was always going to be challenging when you're needing to make a decision and review mid-season," added Redman amid reports that the franchise's private investment arm and Auckland Rugby Union remain at loggerheads, refusing to sit around the board room together.  

"This is one of the biggest decisions our club will make every few years. It's not surprising there's strong and passionate views around the table. It's important the achieve the right decision rather than a fast decision."

"We brief the [players].

"They read stuff in the paper and we clarify the bits that we need to and they have assured us that they are focused on preparing each week.

"Inevitably there will be some current players and players who would like to come here that would like to see the outcome of the process before they commit, but it hasn't been a huge feature of our negotiations so far, but the longer it drags on the more impact it will have on recruitment and the board is aware of that and that is another reason why we want to resolve that as soon as we can."