Mooney's future uncertain as Reds coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mooney's future uncertain as Reds coach

By Jim Morton 10/09/2009 09:30:48 PM Comments (0)

Phil Mooney's future as Reds coach is under a dark cloud following an unconfirmed report he'd been axed by the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU).

Former Wallabies fullback and Fox Sports commentator Greg Martin, a friend of Mooney, said on Thursday night's Rugby Club program there were rumours he'd been sacked with one season of his three-year deal remaining.

Mooney and a number of QRU officials were unavailable for comment, heightening the mystery surrounding the coaching position.

Incoming QRU chairman Rod McCall was set to have his first face-to-face meeting with Mooney on Thursday.

McCall told The Courier-Mail before the meeting he couldn't give Mooney his complete support after two seasons of poor results in the Super 14.

Mooney took over from Eddie Jones after the disastrous 2007 season but has only managed to take the battling Reds to 12th (2008) and 13th (2009).

"I can't be definitive because there are a lot of things I don't yet know about Queensland rugby," McCall said.

"I'm about to start finding out.

"If a place is struggling, you look at every part of the business - the coaching, the administration, the business operations, what is needed around the players and so on.

"Change has already started. With the appointment of (Reds rugby manager) Daniel Herbert plus (recruitment and retention aides) Tim Horan and Dan Crowley, the QRU has already added more rugby cred."

It is understood former NSW Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie, dumped as Stade Francais coach this week, could come into the reckoning as a candidate to replace Mooney.

Mooney's position was always going to be under fierce scrutiny heading into 2010 with more than two-thirds of the squad coming off contract and wanting to know the identity of the 2011 coach.

If Mooney is sacked it would mean a complete cleanout of the 2009 coaching staff with forwards coach Mark Bell axed, backs coach Damon Emtage resigning, chief recruitment officer Ben Whitaker quitting and manager Brendan Morris also dumped.

The defection of star player Berrick Barnes also saw chief executive Ken Freer and previous chairman Peter Lewis announce their resignations.

Adding further intrigue, Wallabies forwards coach Jim Williams had been poised to be announced as Mooney's assistant coach two weeks ago but nothing has occurred.

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