Macqueen eyes Melbourne Super 15 role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Macqueen eyes Melbourne Super 15 role

By Melissa Woods 13/11/2009 04:03:18 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's race to be ready for the 2011 Super rugby season has received a major boost with former Wallabies super-coach Rod Macqueen interested in a position.

Awarded entry to an expanded Super 15 on Thursday, Melbourne have set a March deadline to have a chief executive and head coach in place.

While the company make-up and board structure are still to be determined, Macqueen - also an accomplished businessman - offers the new organisation incomparable insight and expertise.

National coach between 1997 and 2001, Macqueen led the Wallabies to the 1999 World Cup triumph in the finest era of their history.

Renowned for his organisational ability, he was also the inaugural coach and a key figure in establishing the country's most successful Super rugby franchise, the Canberra-based Brumbies, from scratch.

He finished his Test coach career with a match winning record of just below 80 per cent.

Macqueen said on Friday it was premature to discuss a specific role but said he was interested in being involved with the Melbourne franchise.

"Given the right circumstances, certainly," said Macqueen, when asked whether he would consider a position of director of coaching.

"But it's certainly early days to be contemplating that.

"It's premature to say anything yet because we don't know what the ARU's position is ... except to say that it's great for Australian rugby that Melbourne's got the bid.

"I think it's going to give Australian rugby a lot more depth and I really do think that Melbourne is a city that will really accept rugby, all the signs are there, particularly in the business fraternity."

Macqueen backed the ARU's call for start-up concessions to be given to Melbourne, and for competition governing body SANZAR to allow it up to 10 foreign players.

"It's important to hit the ground running so some of those things do need to be fast-tracked," he said.

"Short-term there does need to be some concessions but the ultimate goal has obviously got to be as many home-grown Wallabies as we can."

Coaches believed to be on Melbourne's radar include Leinster mentor Michael Cheika, Munster's Tony McGahan, Bath's Steve Meehan and John Mulvihill, as well as Wallabies forwards coach Jim Williams and his predecessor Michael Foley, currently an assistant coach at NSW.

The Australian Rugby Union will meet with the parties behind the Melbourne bid, the Victorian Rugby Union and VicSuper15, next Thursday.

The factions have been engaged in a bitter fight to control the team and VicSuper15 spokesman Ray Evans said there were still hurdles ahead.

"The ARU is coming down on Thursday and we'll all meet and hopefully all will be revealed," Evans said.

"They've put a model together that will be negotiated ... some of the stuff we don't agree with and some of the stuff the VRU don't agree with so there's a fair bit of negotiation to go on yet.

"If the ARU don't provide us with a model we're happy with, we won't be part of it.

"We're all talking so hopefully it will all come together and we can get on with it."

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