Michael Pascoe writes:

Simon Poidevin has nailed a key
criterion for all those hoping to be the next Wallabies coach: you have
to be the most effective chairman of coaches.

Poidevin, one of
the greatest Wallabies and who has since made a successful career in
the financial markets, was named yesterday as the third member of the
panel charged with selecting the coach who will take the Wallabies to
the 2007 World Cup. Few could match Piodevin for passion and commitment
over his 59 tests as a fiery breakaway, culminating in the 1991 World
Cup final.

Playing in that game (and with his hands on the ball
for the winning try although he didn’t receive joint credit) was Ewen
McKenzie, who also was Poidevin’s teammate at Randwick and NSW.

But
all that shared blood and battle won’t help McKenzie unless the
selection panel appraises him as a team leader. McKenzie definitely is
the front runner for the job, but as Poidevin told the SMH the position is not for an autocrat:

“I don’t necessarily believe we are talking about ‘a’ coach,” he said.
“I believe the game now requires multiple input, rather than just one
coach out there. So I think…the one-coach focus is incorrect; it’s a
collective thing.”

In other words, they don’t want another Eddie Jones.

It’s
further backing for the dream team coaching panel – McKenzie, John
Mitchell and Scott Johnson with further specialist assistance such as
Andrew Blades. It sounds like Poidevin is looking for the person who
can best chair that panel – just as Rod Macqueen so effectively led the
Wallabies revival to win the 1999 World Cup.

There was a setback
for former All Blacks coach Mitchell though – he might be good enough
to be part of the process, but Poidevin definitely wants an Australian
in the top job.

Anyone who had spent a quarter as much time as
Poidevin has at the bottom of rucks being kicked and stomped by Kiwis
would no doubt feel the same way.

Peter Fray

72 hours only. 50% off a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

Our two-for-one offer with The Atlantic was so popular we decided to bring it back.

But only for 72 hours.

Use the promo code ATLANTIC2020 and you’ll get 50% off a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year of digital access to The Atlantic (usually $70). That’s BOTH for just $129.

Hurry. Ends midnight this Thursday.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

Claim Now