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Rugby Union: All quiet on Eddie Jones replacement

Following the departure of Eddie Jones after the 2023 World Cup, Australia are continuing their search for a new head coach going into the new year.

There have been plenty of names linked with the position after Jones' departure so here’s a look at the latest candidates still thought to be in the mix.

Joe Schmidt

Thought to be one of the leading contenders to succeed Jones, Joe Schmidt has all the credentials to take on the role.

The New Zealander enjoyed a successful spell in the northern hemisphere with Ireland, before joining Ian Foster’s backroom team with the All Blacks.

Schmidt was part of the coaching set-up that helped the Kiwis reach the 2023 World Cup final, only to be edged out by South Africa in Paris.

Following the arrival of Scott Robertson as the new All Blacks’ head coach, Schmidt is out of work and could be ready for a new challenge with the Wallabies, who are 8.00 to win the next World Cup on home soil in 2027. The All Blacks are the 3.50 favourites to lift the trophy.  

David Nucifora

A potential outsider for the role after parting ways with the Irish Rugby Football Union, David Nucifora is another man being linked with the Wallabies job.

The 61-year-old, who made two international appearances for Australia in the early 90s, has previously had coaching spells with both the Brumbies and the Blues.

Enjoying his role as Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Nucifora thrived in the role and helped take the Irish to the top of the world rankings.

Nucifora is believed to be in the mix and the lure of the Wallabies job could tempt the Queenslander to come home.

Dan McKellar

Former Australia assistant coach Dan McKellar has been linked to the big job with the national side despite taking charge of English Premiership side Leicester Tigers this year.

The Tigers have had a mixed start to the season as they sit in seventh place in the Premiership standings with four wins from their first eight games.

However, with international players now back after the World Cup, including South Africa fly-half Hendre Pollard, expect McKellar’s side to start climbing the standings.

Having only just made the move to England, it’s hard to see McKellar cutting his Premiership journey short just yet.

Stephen Larkham

A Wallabies great and another coach being linked with the job is former fly-half Stephen Larkham.

A man who needs no introduction after playing 102 times for his country and winning the World Cup back in 1999, Larkham would be a popular choice among many to take the national side forward.

Currently working in the capital with Super Rugby outfit the Brumbies, Larkham is deservedly in the conversation with regards to Jones’ replacement, and the latest reports suggest he is open to the idea of taking on the role.

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