Overseas jobs start to be taken leaving respected leader with one obvious post left.
The chances Ewan McKenzie will be the coach of the Wallabies continue to be shortened after news Scotland and Ireland have filled vacant slots on their roster.
McKenzie fired the first shot across the bow of incumbent Australian coach Robbie Deans after he announced earlier this Super 15 season he would be stepping away from his duties as Queensland leader to pursue the national job.
Several other options became available to McKenzie in Europe after Scotland and Ireland suffered through disappointing Six Nations’ campaigns.
McKenzie said he entertained the idea of coaching of the sides, especially Ireland, with industry insiders suggesting the Australian was close to putting pen to paper.
However, both Ireland and Scotland have announced their new coaches and neither of them are McKenzie.
The Irish Rugby Football Union appointed New Zealand’s Joe Schmidt to the job of Ireland head coach as replacement for the sacked Declan Kidney.
Schmidt will leave his role as Leinster head coach to succeed Kidney, who was dismissed earlier this month after Ireland finished fifth in the Six Nations tournament.
While former Wales hooker Jonathan Humphreys was hired as Scotland forwards coach on Monday.
Humphreys signed a two-year contract with the Scottish Rugby Union and will leave his role at Ospreys, where he also coaches the forwards, at the end of the season.
The 44-year-old will replace former England forward Dean Ryan, who quit after a short-term stint working with interim head coach Scott Johnson during this year’s Six Nations.
Humphreys will join the Scotland coaching staff ahead of the tournament with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June.
He worked with Johnson for a spell when the Australian was employed by Ospreys as director of rugby from 2009 before moving to Scotland to assist former head coach Andy Robinson last year.
“I’m very excited by the challenge of working with the Scotland players and management and building on the very solid foundations that are in place,” Humphreys said.
“I know Scott well from our time together at the Ospreys and it will be great to renew acquaintance with a man who has such a sharp rugby brain.”