White: Ewen favourite for Wallaby job
Tue, 16 Apr 2013 18:42
You've got to give him accolades
Brumbies coach Jake White says Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie is the favourite to become the next Wallaby coach.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans is contracted until the end of the year but the New Zealander could be sacked prior to that if Australia lose the three-Test series to the British and Irish Lions in June.
McKenzie and World Cup winner White are the frontrunners to succeed Deans and their franchises will face off in a top of the Australian Conference clash this weekend.
McKenzie transformed the Reds into the powerhouse Australian franchise after guiding the team to their first Super Rugby title in 2011 and back-to-back Australian Conference titles.
The former Wallaby prop boasted a record of 17 wins and seven losses in his first 24 games at the helm of the Reds, and White believes that gives McKenzie the inside track.
"If you look at it like that, you'd like to think that Ewen must then be the shoo-in for that job because that's the way it is," said White.
"They are laden with Wallabies, they have got a winning culture - he has done phenomenally well with that Reds team.
"The Reds, when he took over, were nowhere. He's [taken] them to where they are now and that plays a massive bonus for them. You've got to give him accolades for that."
White has done wonders since his arrival in Canberra, his record as Brumbies boss reading 16 wins, seven losses and a draw after 24 games.
McKenzie, ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium, believes the Reds are a much-improved side compared to the one that went down 6-24 in the season opener.
"We're better than we were when we played them in the first round, there's no question about that," he said.
"No-one wants to talk about it but they kick the ball a lot.
"They kick it down the other end and they want you to play.
"It's a solid game plan and it works but they don't play any rugby inside their own half."
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