The problem with Australia’s Super Rugby coach selections
It is difficult to know what is going on at the coaching level in Super Rugby in Australia at the moment.
In no particular order:
Earlier this year Force Coach – Richard Graham (with little Super Rugby success) is snapped up by Queensland mid season – creating major problems for the Force.
The Waratahs continue the same three year development cycle they have been espousing for the past 20 years and fail, again – Monty Python is alive and well in Tahland.
They review Michael Foley early and endorse him as a coach. Foley goes onto record the worst losing streak in the Waratahs history.
Meanwhile Michael Cheika (one of the few Australian championship winning coaches) packs his bags and heads back to France after commenting that “all that was left to do (with the Force) was tidy up the paper work”.
He then rejects the Force, now there is widespread speculation that the Force are mounting an offer to – wait for it – Foley.
Waratahs CEO Jason Allen was asked whether he was confident Foley would coach the Waratahs next year, Allen said: “I can’t comment on that. He has said publicly that he is. I hope he is”.
It would seem that any Super Rugby Coaching experience in Australia is in high demand.
David Nucifora – the ARU’s High Performance Manager – has just taken the Australian U/20 to its worst performance in a World Championship on record (this is his fourth consecutive time as the U/20 coach) – and not a murmur from the ARU.
NZ, by comparison have a production line of coaches, where the best are given one shot at coaching their u/20 side. Needless to say their record in winning this championship speaks for itself.
The ARU is running senior coaching courses to develop new talent. What is lacking, however, is any strategic plan for the further development of these coaches. Nucifora’s U/20 coaching position would be the obvious carrot.
A Tier 2 Australian rugby competition played at the same venue prior to the main game would provide this opportunity (and provide Australian Rugby with much needed player depth).
Clearly the Australian coaching cupboard is bare. Would we otherwise be watching the shenanigans around the coaching positions that are going on at the moment, with lightweight coaches who have done little and still have much to prove?
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