ARU consider changes

There could be a major British and Irish influence in the Wallaby set up when the Lions head Down Under in 2013. [more]

ARU consider changes

There could be a major British and Irish influence in the Wallaby set up when the Lions head Down Under in 2013.

Australia head coach Robbie Deans is currently in the process of revamping his coaching team, with two men with considerable experience on this side of the world in the running for different roles.

A substantial review of the 2011 season by Australian Rugby Union directors and former Wallabies Michael Hawker, Brett Robinson, Mark Connors and John Eales has suggested changes need to be made, with ex assistants Jim Williams and Peter Harding already having moved on.

Current Munster boss Tony McGahan and ex-Edinburgh coach Nick Scrivener are now being lined up to join Deans at the top table.

McGahan, who has led Munster to two Celtic League titles in his time as head coach and was part of the backroom staff for the 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup triumphs, is expected to be named defence coach under Deans.

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The Queenslander was offered a one-year extension to his Munster contract but has turned that down in order to return home and join Australia’s quest to become the No1 ranked team in the world.

Scrivener also appears set to make the step up to senior international rugby this season by taking on the role of skills coach at the reigning Tri Nations Champions.

A former assistant coach at the Brumbies, Scrivener was named interim Edinburgh coach partway through last season following the dismissal of Rob Moffat.

His reign in the Scottish capital was short lived, however, as he decided to return home to Australia in early summer despite being tipped to take over the Murrayfield-based club on a permanent basis.

Scrivener had previously worked as coach of the Scotland A side, while his latest role is that of head coach of the ARU’s National Rugby Academy in New South Wales.

Deans and the ARU are believed to be hoping to make an announcement on the new coaching appointments by the end of March, 14 months before the Lions arrive in town.

Patricio Noriega, the Wallabies' scrum coach, will continue working with the ARU, while former Wallaby prop Andrew Blades is also likely to be appointed as a back-up coach.

David Nucifora, who worked as an assistant to Deans in the lead-up to the World Cup, will revert to his previous full-time role as the ARU's high performance unit manager.

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