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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
WRU name coach head-hunting trio
Welsh rugby
The Welsh Rugby Union board have given Roger Lewis, David Pickering and Gerald Davies the go-ahead to find Wales' next coach to replace sacked Gareth Jenkins.

Chief executive Lewis, chairman Pickering and national representative Davies will actively approach candidates, not await applications.

Discussions will be held with the remaining members of the coaching team, with no guarantees on their future.

A caretaker coach will be put in place for next month's South Africa Test.

The search will be truly worldwide, and it begins immediately

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis

Wales have slipped to an all-time low of 10th in the latest International Rugby Board rankings, dropping below Scotland and Fiji.

"The WRU board have been fully informed of the events of the last few days," Lewis told BBC Sport Wales.

"We've been tasked with finding a coach to take us through to the end of the 2011 World Cup, the search will be truly worldwide, and it begins immediately.

"We hope to make an announcement in the coming months."

Eddie Jones, Nick Mallett and Mike Ruddock have ruled themselves out of contention for the job.

Llanelli Scarlets director of rugby Phil Davies and Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young both brushed aside questions of whether they would be interested in the national position.

Former coach and current Australia assistant Scott Johnson shrugged off suggestions with some bookmakers that he is favourite to land the job.

"It is something further down the track and not for me to say," he said.

"At the moment I am worrying about the quarter-final against England. That is all that is on my mind."

606: DEBATE
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Canterbury Crusaders coach Robbie Deans is believed to be in the frame, as is Waikato's Warren Gatland.

Jenkins paid the price for Wales' exit at the pool stages of the World Cup, bringing a premature end to a disappointing 17-month period in charge.

Fans' favourite former Wales coach Mike Ruddock said that he is staying with Worcester.

"It is nice to be linked again with coaching at international level, but I am enjoying the challenge at Worcester," said Ruddock, Wales' leader in the 2005 Grand Slam season.

Australian Jones is working as a technical advisor to the Springboks at the World Cup, and is set to work as a consultant at English club Saracens next season.

"I have not given the Wales position any thought," Jones told the Guardian.

We must have in place a clear structure and strategy that will take us forward and that will be attractive to the very best

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis

"I have always said that I want to return to international coaching one day, but it has to be the right job at the right time. I am committed to joining Saracens after the World Cup."

South African Mallett has been lined up by Italy to replace outgoing coach Pierre Berbizier and admits he is now committed to the Azzurri.

"I have gone quite far down the road in my negotiations with Italy," he said.

"There will probably be an announcement on that front after the World Cup. There are just one or two things to be sorted out, but that is my preferred choice.

"Having basically agreed on 90% of the issues, it would be wrong for me to turn round and renege on that. I am too far down the road."

Lewis said they would take time to guarantee they make the correct appointment after conducting a full review of the Welsh rugby structure.

Whoever is appointed will become Wales' sixth coach in as many years, and Lewis admitted the short shelf-life of previous incumbents could put off prospective candidates.

"That could be a consideration," Lewis told BBC Radio Wales. "That's why it's so important for us all to behave properly, in a measured way.

"We must have in place a clear structure and strategy that will take us forward and that will be attractive to the very best."

SEE ALSO
Wales 34-38 Fiji
29 Sep 07 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby coaches
29 Mar 06 |  Welsh


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