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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 March 2006, 15:03 GMT
Kirwan keen on Wales coaching job
John Kirwan
Kirwan says Wales need to decide what they are looking for
Ex-Italy coach and All Black wing legend John Kirwan says he would be interested in taking the Wales job.

"Coaching a national side - especially one as prestigious as Wales - is an honour," Kirwan told BBC Sport Wales.

"Wales need to decide what road they're going down, but when they get that straight I'd look into doing the job."

Wales caretaker coach Scott Johnson is expected to return to Australia after the France game, with the Welsh Rugby Union to launch a search for a new man.

The Australian, 43, is likely to join the Wallabies as assistant to coach John Connolly.

What has happened in the Wales camp is bizarre
John Kirwan

Johnson - with Wales as skills coach since February 2001 - was put in temporary charge of the national side following Mike Ruddock's shock departure, and he is believed to be the players' choice to lead them to the World Cup.

But he has always stressed that family decisions will determine his future plans, and a return down under to rejoin his mother and two children now seems imminent.

"We've been saying for four months that Scott will join Australia and nothing has changed," Sydney Morning Herald journalist Greg Crowden told BBC Sport Wales.

"We understand that he's extremely close to signing, but there has been no official announcement."

Should Johnson go, there seem few obvious candidates for the position, Gareth Jenkins having ruled himself out whilst the current WRU bosses are in charge.

The Union are expected to advertise the position at the end of the Six Nations and appoint a five-man panel to instigate a global search for the new man.

Ex-Wales coach Mike Ruddock and successor Scott Johnson
Wales' coaching problems have intrigued the world

Those five are likely to include WRU chief executive Steve Lewis, chairman David Pickering, director of rugby Mostyn Richards and Wales and Lions legend Gerald Davies.

Kirwan, who parted company with Italy at the end of the last Six Nations, could be one name to attract their attention.

"Scott Johnson has a fantastic reputation, all the players love him, and if I was in charge of Wales I would be trying to keep him," said Kirwan.

"He's doing a good job and stability the year before a World Cup would be the best bet.

"What has happened in the Wales camp is bizarre, no-one in New Zealand or Italy can believe what's going on.

"We can just sense that something doesn't smell correct there and everyone would like to know what it is.

"But when they decide what they're looking for in a coach I would look into doing something like that."

Italian coach Kirwan leaves post
08 Apr 05 |  Six Nations
Johnson 'did not covet' Wales job
15 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Ruddock steps down as Wales coach
14 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Johnson close to Australia return
02 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Ailing Wallabies turn to Connolly
02 Feb 06 |  Rugby Union


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