Queensland Reds rugby coach Ewen McKenzie has denied that he is in contention to take charge of the Scotland team.
The Scottish Rugby Union confirmed at the weekend that they have reached agreement with a new Scotland head coach, although the identitiy of the man will remain secret for now.
The news came hot on the heels of the announcement last week that current interim coach Scott Johnson has been appointed to a director of rugby role at Murrayfield.
Australian McKenzie was considered a front-runner for the head-coach post after it emerged that the new man is not a Scot and is currently involved with a Super Rugby team in South Africa. However, last night, a bemused McKenzie rubbished the speculation.
“It’s not me,” said McKenzie, who earlier this year went public with his desire to coach at international level and last week lost out to Joe Schmidt in the battle to land the Ireland job.
“I knew another Aussie [Scott Johnson] had taken over the high-performance role in directing Scottish rugby, but that’s it.”
According to reports in New Zealand, Canterbury Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder is the most likely candidate for the Scotland job. The former All Black captained Edinburgh a decade ago and also worked as Scotland’s assistant forwards coach.
Wayne Smith, another former All Black who is currently assistant coach at Waikato Chiefs, has also been linked to the vacancy.
Speaking at the weekend, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said: “I am delighted to be able to tell you that we have concluded our search for a head coach and we will be announcing that appointment in the next few weeks.”
Scotland are next in action next month in South Africa in a quadrangular tournament which also features Italy and Samoa. The squad for the competition will be announced at Murrayfield this morning.