Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has been installed as the frontrunner to take over the Wallabies, with March 2024 set as the deadline to appoint Eddie Jones’ successor.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Rugby Australia is strongly pursuing Schmidt, who took Ireland to the top of the world rankings before helping the All Blacks progress to the 2023 World Cup final.
Former Wallabies assistant coaches Stephen Larkham and Dan McKellar, currently at Leicester Tigers, have been linked to the role, as has Michael Cheika, who is available after quitting as Argentina head coach.
Rugby Australia boss and former Wallabies flank Phil Waugh said that the national body would ramp up the search for a new head coach, after confirming that long-serving World Rugby administrator Peter Horne has been appointed as Australia’s director of high performance.
David Nucifora, who resigned from his role as director of Irish rugby, has returned to Rugby Australia in an advisory role and, according to reports, will have a say in who gets appointed as Wallabies head coach.
“We’ll be in market next week with expressions of interest and ideally we want to be having an appointment in certainly Q-1 (quarter one) in ‘24 given that the Welsh are here in July,” Waugh said.
“So it is a bit of a sprint. We understand that time is against us, but equally it’s really important process to get right.”
Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images