Gaffney to coach Wallabies ?

Coaching director with English club Saracens Alan Gaffney could be the next coach of the Australian rugby team. The race to get the appointment was blown wide open when the man that was thought to be the favourite Robbie Deans announced that he would not be available after putting his name in the hat to replace Graham Henry as All Black’s coach.

Gaffney, 61, is an Australian so that will give him a few extra points and he has the backing of the man who previously coached Australia to the 2003 World cup, Eddie Jones.

“I think someone they should seriously talk to is Alan Gaffney,” Jones told the Daily Telegraph last night. “They should be looking widely and he is one bloke I think they should consider. Certainly they should find out if he is interested.”

Gaffney was Waratahs assistant coach between 1997 and ’99 and was Wallabies backs coach in 2005 working under Jones.

“With the talent he had he did an extremely good job,” Jones said.

“Remember the last Test that year when Lote (Tuqiri) played so well against Wales at outside centre – that was all Alan.”

Jones is now working for Saracens so should Gaffney move back to Australia Jones would probably be in line to take over from Gaffney.

World cup winning coach Bob Dwyer is also backing Gaffney for the position. and pointed out that in the two previous seasons before Gaffney went to Saracens, the club had been in line for relegation right up to their necks until their last game.

“And he took them to a team which ran third. After one season that is a fair effort,” Dwyer said.

“Speaking to a couple of Saracens players, they say he has made a massive difference to them as individuals.

“And I know he intends to come back to Australia.”

Applications closed at 5pm today but it is not known whether Gaffney had applied. Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie and Blues coach David Nucifora are thought to have applied along with former coach Alan Jones.

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