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Coach

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, offered to coach the Wallabies

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika confirmed on Monday he has been offered the Wallabies coaching job left vacant by the resignation of Ewen McKenzie, saying it was “humbling”.

A smiling Cheika, dressed in a Waratahs tracksuit top and black jeans, confirmed the offer when he spoke to the media out the front of Waratahs headquarters at Moore Park. “It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens,” Cheika said.

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Ewen McKenzieThe Australian Rugby Union revealed that Ewen McKenzie has resigned as Wallaby coach.

McKenzie announced his resignation after the Qantas Wallabies were gallant in defeat, going down 29-28 to New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 18 October.

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver paid tribute to McKenzie who has led Australia in 22 Tests since starting in the role in August 2013.

“I did not ask Ewen to resign, but understand his decision. He informed me this morning of his intention to resign, regardless of tonight’s result.”

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Ewen McKenzie & Bill Pulver

Ewen McKenzie & Bill Pulver

The Australian Rugby Union is rejecting reports it is preparing to replace Ewen McKenzie as Wallabies coach.

Australian media say talks have taken place between senior union officials and McKenzie’s most-likely successor, New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika.

But in a statement late Monday ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver said: “the ARU has not had any conversations with any other coaches regarding the Wallabies coaching position.

“Ewen [McKenzie] is coaching the team [against the All Blacks] this weekend and next Friday he will board the plane with the team for the November Tests tour [to Britain] and is contracted to Australian Rugby to lead the Wallabies to next year’s Rugby World Cup.”

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David Hill

David Hill

Former All Black David Hill will join the coaching team at the Blues for the forthcoming Super Rugby season.

Hill will take up the role as backs skills coach for the Blues, to complete their coaching group for the 2015 season under head coach Sir John Kirwan and assistant coaches Grant Doorey and Glenn Moore.

He has enjoyed a long career including representation for the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, Junior All Blacks, more than 50 games for the Chiefs and the 2010 Super Rugby season for the Force.

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Johan van Graan

Johan van Graan

Heyneke Meyer lauds him as the one of the unsung heroes in the Springboks’ transition to an attacking game plan, with many of the stellar try-scoring feats being attributed to his role, but ask the average rugby fan what they know about Johan van Graan and many will struggle to come up with a single fact.

From his early days as a ball-boy at Loftus Versfeld, kicking the leather pigskin back to the likes of Naas Botha and Johan Heunis, Van Graan has always had an obsession with the game.

But now it is his hard-work, the hours that go unseen as he meticulously analyses the opposition, helps craft the Springbok attacking structures and spends almost every moment in trying to make the Bok side a massive success that make him such a vital cog in the current Springbok machine.

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Jake White and Eddie Jones

Jake White and Eddie Jones

Jake White could make a quick return to rugby coaching with Japan coach Eddie Jones keen to secure his services with the Brave Blossoms.

It was announced yesterday that White would be parting ways with the Sharks after a single season in Durban.

White and Jones worked together with South Africa during the successful 2007 World Cup campaign when the Australian helped the squad in a consulting role.

And the roles could be reversed this time, with Jones in charge of Japan, and eager to bring in White although he admits the South African will be in high demand.

“He is going to do some consultancy, I just don’t know where,” Jones told Kyodo News.

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Jake White

Jake White

The sudden departure of Jake White as Sharks director of rugby has led to informed sources confirming there was growing discord between White and his back-room staff as well as with the players.

While White may not technically have been “fired” by the board of the Sharks, it is believed he was no longer heading a harmonious environment.

It is understood that Gary Gold, the former Springbok assistant coach under Peter de Villiers, could be the front runner to replace White as the Super Rugby coach, while former All Blacks coach John Mitchell could also be in the running.

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South AfricaA schools rugby coach who breached South African Rugby Union (SARU) rules governing underage rugby has been suspended and the points his school took for the match were overturned, following a SARU disciplinary hearing.

The charge was the first brought to SARU under new regulations that were introduced to protect players under the age of 18 at the start of last season.

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Glenn Moore

NO PROBLEMS ADJUSTING: Newly appointed Blues assistant Glenn Moore in his days as Highlanders’ head coach.

Former Highlanders coach Glenn Moore will take charge of the Blues forward pack for the next two years.

Moore will join the Blues fulltime at the conclusion of the Heartland Championship – he is the current Mid Canterbury head coach – and replace All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne, who stepped down at this end of last season.

Auckland-born Moore partners head coach Kirwan and assistant Grant Doorey in the coaching team with a back skills coach, who will fill Sir Graham Henry’s void, to be appointed in the coming weeks.

Moore reckons none of his Super Rugby charges will phone to say they can’t make training because the cow shed roof has blown off in a big storm.

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Stephen Larkham

Stephen Larkham

Stephen Larkham has committed to another three years as Brumbies Head Coach, taking him through to the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The announcement comes as Laurie Fisher confirmed he will finish his tenure as Director of Rugby with the Brumbies at season’s end to pursue opportunities in Europe.

“It’s a huge moment in my career to be extending my position here. I’ve had a long history with the Brumbies with some success, but the idea of new challenges has made this really exciting for me and my family,” Larkham said.

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Rory Duncan

Rory Duncan

Naka Drotské

Naka Drotské

The Free State Cheetahs will tackle this year’s Currie Cup competition under a new head coach, the Free State Rugby Union said on Thursday.

Super Rugby coach Naka Drotské hands over the reins for the coming domestic competition to the coach of this year’s Free State Vodacom Cup side, Rory Duncan.

Drotské, who would be heading off to the UK to expand his coaching knowledge abroad, remained the head coach for the Cheetahs Super Rugby campaign next year. Griquas coach Hawies Fourie and former Springbok prop Os du Randt would be his assistants for the 2015 competition.

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Jonny WilkinsonFormer England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson says it would be “amazing” to one day coach his country after announcing he will retire from playing this month.

The 34-year-old will play in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 finals for Toulon, at which point he will join the French club’s coaching staff.

Wilkinson played 91 times for England, famously kicking a winning drop-goal in the 2003 World Cup final.

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Wayne PivacAuckland coach Wayne Pivac has become the latest in a growing number of New Zealamd mentors who are heading to Europe.

The Scarlets announced that Pivac will join them as an assistant coach at Parc y Scarlets next season, to further strengthen the set-up in West Wales.

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Carlos SpencerEP KingsFormer All Black Carlos Spencer has been tasked to guide the Eastern Province Kings in their return to the Currie Cup competition.

Spencer, who joined the Kings in December, has been appointed head coach for the Currie Cup season.

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John MitchellJohn Mitchell says that it is time to put his ego aside as he starts a new chapter of his coaching career with UKZN in the Varsity Shield.

The former All Blacks coach has settled in Durban and said that although it is a significant step down from jobs he has held in the past, the decision to take the position was an easy one.

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EP KingsGary GoldThe Eastern Province Kings may be keen, but they are a long way off from securing the services of Gary Gold.

Media reports on Friday suggested the former Springbok assistant coach could be heading to Port Elizabeth – to fill the void left by the departure of another former Bok assistant, Alan Solomons, and New Zealander Matt Sexton.

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David MaidzaNMMUDavid Maidza, who coached the Eastern Province Kings’ Vodacom Cup and First Division Currie Cup teams this year, will officially join the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University rugby coaching staff from January.

Maidza has already been assisting with the training of the Varsity Cup Madibaz at NMMU since mid November, but will officially take up the position of head coach next year, replacing Brent Janse van Rensburg.

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Matt SextonThe exodus in Port Elizabeth continues with confirmation that Southern Kings coach Matt Sexton will leave the union and return to New Zealand this month.

Sexton, who joined the union in June 2012 to assist them in their preparations for their entry into Super Rugby, has decided to return home for personal reasons.

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