McKenzie not cut out for Wallabies?

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 12:25
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Accusations have been passed that Reds coach Ewen McKenzie would never coach the Wallabies because of his past as a front-row forward.

Accusations have been passed that Reds coach Ewen McKenzie would never coach the Wallabies because of his past as a front-row forward.

McKenzie has brushed off the suggestions that because of his background as a forward he knows nothing about running backline play.

It has surfaced that McKenzie has no chance of taking over from current Australian coach Robbie Deans, despite the impressive work that he has done with the Reds since taking over in 2010.

A senior ARU official, reportedly a key player in any future recruitment process, was quoted as saying McKenzie had no chance of getting the top job because of a perceived ignorance of backline play.

"As long as my backside is pointing to the ground, Ewen McKenzie will not coach Australia. You cannot have a front-row forward in charge of the Wallabies because they know nothing about backline play," the ARU source was reported as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Reds mentor is the most successful Australian franchise coach since Laurie Fischer and feels that some people don't seem to appreciate his influence on Australian rugby.

"Obviously someone doesn't like me, but you find that when you travel around" he said.

"It's a bit like politics - you can't get everyone to like you. All I can do is rely on where I'm up to as a coach."

These accusations don't seem to phase McKenzie who is in charge of arguably the most exciting Australian backline in the Super Rugby competition - when his squad is fully fit. It was this style of rugby that won them the Super Rugby title in 2011.

"I don't worry about what I can and can't do from a coaching point of view," he said.

"I've been around long enough.

"If you read the quotes, you'll work out the depth of intelligence that came with that comment," McKenzie added.

The former Wallaby prop is taking this all in his stride and won't let accusations change the way he approaches the game.

"There's no position to electioneer for. I'm pretty happy doing what I'm doing at the moment. That's about it. You read articles every day. It's a moment in time, someone's comment, it becomes yesterday's news and you talk about something else," he said.

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