Queensland Reds coach Ewan McKenzie has declared he wants to be the next Australian national coach.
Super Rugby winning coach Ewen McKenzie has fired the first shot across the bow of Robbie Deans, saying he is walking away from the state system to launch a bid to coach the Wallabies.
Deans still has a year to run on his current contract with the Australian Rugby Union, but the next domestic season could make or break his plans of staying in the job.
With six Test matches as part of The Rugby Championship and the third Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand there are plenty of chances for Deans to show why he deserves to stay in the job.
However, the tipping point could come later in the year when the British and Irish Lions visit Australia for the first time since 2001.
If McKenzie is considered for the job he brings with him an impressive resume with the recent highlight being the Reds Super Rugby title win in 2011.
Despite his departure being fueled by his own desire to lead the national team, McKenzie said his decision was as much about the natural progression forward for the Reds.
“It’s appropriate to be up front about it now because the (contracting) decisions on the 2014 season are being made now,” McKenzie told The Australian.
“Me making my decision allows 50 other people in this organisation to make their decisions.
“I’d love to have the opportunity to coach the Wallabies but I don’t control the timing of the ARU.
“Things at this level are all about timing. But this way I create my own timing.
“I’ve been coaching at this level now for about 13 years and I’m ready to move up to the next level.”