Ewen McKenzie, the new coach of the Australia Rugby Union team has a mere five weeks in front of him to turn around the faltering fortunes of The Wallabies before the team faces the toughest task possible: a two test series against the reigning Rugby World Cup champions, The All Blacks of New Zealand.
The Australian was announced as the new coach of the team just hours after the Australian Rugby Union announced that the first foreign coach in the history of the sport in the country Robbie Deans stepped down following the team’s disastrous defeat at the hands of the British and Irish Lions with just six months left on his contract with the country. The 48 year old McKenzie will see out his contract with the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team as their Director of Rugby before taking up the reigns of the Australia Rugby team from August.
McKenzie, who has previously served as the assistant coach of the national team between 2000 and 2003 stated that earlier in the year, he had put up his hand and said that this is what he wanted and this is what he would love to do. McKenzie has also had stints as a coach of the New South Wales Waratahs and the French powerhouse Stade Francais before returning to Australia to take up the reigns of The Reds.
He further added that it has been a very long and arduous journey, adding that he had been offered the role once before in 2005 but had turned it down because he didn’t think he was ready. But now, McKenzie believes that he is more than ready to step into the role of the coach of the Australia Rugby team and is hoping to take the team forward ahead of the 2015 World Cup.