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Brumbies set to unveil new coach

Jim Morton 25/04/2011 04:22:25 PM Comments (0)

The battling Brumbies intend appointing their 2012 coach this week but there's growing concerns Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom may not wear their colours again.

Former World Cup-winning South African coach Jake White remains the favourite to replace Tony Rea at the end of this Super Rugby season after being one of three short-listed candidates interviewed in the past fortnight.

While Rea was initially short-listed for the job it's understood he was not interviewed as he's been unable to produce the results a Brumbies selection panel is looking for in a "turnaround" coach.

Since Andy Friend was sacked after round two, the Brumbies have won just a single match in six starts under the former North Sydney league forward.

White displayed great turnaround abilities as a coach when he took the Springboks from 2003 World Cup flops to the 2004 Tri-Nations title, and then finished his four-year reign with the 2007 World Cup crown.

It's believed the only concerns the Brumbies panel of chief executive Andrew Fagan, former Wallabies Joe Roff and Pat Howard, and Canberra businessman John Mackay may have regarding the South African would be his ability to connect with Australian players.

Fagan would not reveal the other candidates but confirmed an appointment, several weeks after White was first speculated as the strong favourite, was imminent.

"The drums have been beating for a little while now but we wanted to take some time to be really clear with what we've been looking for," he told AAP.

"We're now at the end of the process and hope to have an announcement at the end of the week.

"We had a really particular brief for the sort of coach we were after and that's why we took our time to nail it down to a few contenders."

Former Wallabies backs coach Tim Lane was on a long list of applicants that were not interviewed.

The 10th-placed Brumbies are currently in Cape Town where they are preparing for the weekend's clash with the struggling Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Elsom was due to make his long-awaited first start of the year on the two-match South African trip but was scratched after his chronic hamstring problem caused him more grief following a training session last Wednesday.

While hooker Stephen Moore and flanker Mitchell Chapman return from long-term injuries in round 11, Elsom's comeback date is clouded, which also puts his Test captaincy in doubt.

The 64-Test flanker has been on a graduated rehabilitation program since the start of the year after opting against surgery.

Fagan, who remains confident Elsom will return to Super Rugby this season, denied that it would have been better for him to go under the knife.

"We've had medical advice and it's not a surgery versus rehab issue, it's not that clear," he said.

"It's a difficult injury and it's only when you push it a little bit further in training or with more intense rehab that you know if it will take or not."

Reportedly in the sights of NSW, Elsom comes off contract at the end of the season and is currently in prolonged negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union over his future.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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