Australian Rugby
Ewen McKenzie denies Wallabies approach
ESPNscrum Staff
April 17, 2012
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie celebrates winning the 2011 Super Rugby competition, Reds v Crusaders, Super Rugby Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, July 9, 2011
Ewen McKenzie has tasted success in Super Rugby © Getty Images
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Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie insists he has had no contact with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) over the Wallabies' top job.

McKenzie's role with the Super Rugby club is set to shift to that of director of coaching following Monday's shock announcement that Western Force coach Richard Graham would move from Perth to Brisbane next year. Speculation is rife that McKenzie is being groomed to take over from Robbie Deans as national team coach, but he laughed off the suggestion.

"You can speculate all you like. This is solely about trying to put in place the best model for Queensland rugby," McKenzie said. "I have had no discussions with the ARU about anything."

McKenzie, who guided the Reds to the Super Rugby title in 2011, helped select Graham as his successor, stating a need for change inside the club's dressing room.

"We're adding quality to Queensland rugby. It's not often in rugby where you get to plan for the future," McKenzie said. "A team needs new voices. Your time as a coach is always finite and this way we are setting up Queensland rugby to grow for the long haul."

It is understood Deans' role with the Australian team is set to be reviewed after the British and Irish Lions' Tour in 2013, with the ARU eager to build toward the 2015 World Cup.

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