McKenzie extends Reds contract
January 20, 2012
Ewen McKenzie took the 2011 Super Rugby title playing an attractive brand of rugby © Getty Images
Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has extended his contract with the reigning Super Rugby champions until 2014.
The 12-month extension to his current deal overlaps with the end of Robbie Deans' contract with the Australian Rugby Union. McKenzie is one of the leading runners to replace Deans if the ARU decide against retaining the former Crusaders coach.
Deans has the daunting task of taking on the British & Irish Lions in 2013 and despite having taken the 2011 Tri-Nations title, their third-place finish at the 2011 World Cup has put Deans under pressure.
But McKenzie is keen to continue building a legacy at the Reds but has hinted that the Wallabies job could be an option if it became available. "Getting the Wallaby job is all about timing," McKenzie said. "You could end up not having any coaching job at all.
"Coaching the Reds and the whole environment in Queensland rugby is exciting. We are on a wave and you want to ride it as long as possible and keep leading from the front with all we still want to achieve."
And the Queensland Rugby Union chairman Rod McCall was delighted with McKenzie's renewed commitment to the franchise. McCall said: "Players want to know who is leading the place. Ewen has not only stabilised Queensland rugby, he is now one of the pillars to fix it for good so it's strong for the next 20 to 50 years."
Queensland chief executive Jim Carmichael added to AAP: "It's vitally important for our strategies to be achieved to have a head coach who understands what we're trying to build for this industry and we're very fortunate to have that in Ewen.
"I haven't been in rugby very long, but I'm of the firm belief that if we were to have another coach at this stage of our plans, we wouldn't be able to achieve the same levels of penetration that we've experienced over the last two years. Nor would I have the same confidence that we can deliver on our next three-year strategic plan."
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