Rea in mix with White to coach Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rea in mix with White to coach Brumbies

Jim Morton 04/04/2011 05:15:31 PM Comments (0)

Stop-gap Brumbies coach Tony Rea will get the chance to fight for his job ahead of World Cup-winning mentor Jake White with both being shortlisted for the post.

While staunchly denying reports former Springboks coach White already has the job, Brumbies boss Andrew Fagan on Monday confirmed White had applied and would be interviewed in the next fortnight.

The under-pressure Brumbies will this week finalise a short list of four or five and it's understood former assistant coach Rea, who took the reins after Andy Friend was sacked in week three, will also be among the contenders despite the ACT-based team's five-straight losses.

Fagan will be among a four-man panel to interview applicants, along with foundation Brumbies and former Wallabies backs Joe Roff and Pat Howard, and prominent Canberra businessman John Mackay.

The chief executive rubbished speculation White, who led South Africa to the 2007 World Cup and 2004 Tri-Nations crowns, was already over the line as the 2012 coach.

"I don't have enough time to waste on running a process for the sake of it, Fagan told AAP.

"I can confirm he has applied and will be interviewed."

Australia's only successful Super Rugby franchise, with titles in 2001 and 2004, the Brumbies already appear out of the running for the play-offs just seven rounds into the extended 18-week season.

But Fagan had no regrets about the decision to axe Friend, and felt Rea and his three assistants Stephen Larkham, Justin Harrison and Marco Caputo had built a tight group.

"The current coaches are doing a good job and along with the players are working extremely hard to improve performances and turn those close losses into wins," he said.

A former North Sydney and Brisbane Brothers league hooker, Rea denied his confidence was low and stressed he had enjoyed seeing his team pull together.

"Internally we know we are really close and are doing some strong things," he said.

"Other places would havefallen apart by now."

Injuries to senior players haven't helped the Brumbies' cause but there is strong hope of having dangerous fullback Pat McCabe (hamstring) back in time to play the Hurricanes in Canberra on Saturday night.

However, Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom, in rehab since December, is still three weeks away from a return from his chronic hamstring problem.

Elsom, who has struggled with the injury for almost two years, is expected to be fit to play in the two-match tour of South Africa, starting on April 29 against the Cheetahs.

While there's speculation the Test flanker is being kept in cotton wool for Australia's World Cup campaign, Fagan said it was a complex injury and he required a graduated rehab program to safeguard against any more recurrences.

"That's rubbish," he said.

"If he was right to play now, he'd be playing."

Rea said the versatile McCabe's return wouldn't necessarily break up the rotation of Matt Giteau, Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua at No.10, 12 and 15 but he did back Giteau to retain the goalkicking duties after missing four from six in the 26-20 loss to the Highlanders.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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