Blues coaching job to be advertised
The Auckland Blues will advertise the position of head coach, increasing the likelihood that current coach Pat Lam will be replaced.
In a statement on Wednesday, Blues chairman Gary Whetton said the Auckland franchise and New Zealand Rugby Union had agreed to advertise Lam's position to test the degree of interest in the role.
Lam is contracted to the end of this year with an option of a further year. But with the Blues having won only one of 10 Super Rugby games so far, his chances of reappointment seem slim.
"The reality is the results of the Blues to date this season have put considerable focus on the role and as those in the rugby industry know, this is the time coaches look to secure their coaching posts for next year and beyond," Whetton said.
"In order to ensure we have the best opportunity to garner interest from coaches both locally and abroad, this position needs to be advertised now."
Prospective coaches will be interviewed by representatives of the Blues and the New Zealand union in June and July. Under New Zealand's centralised professional system, Super Rugby coaches are contracted to the NZRU in conjunction with individual teams.
"It's obvious for all to see that the Blues are having a very disappointing season so far in 2012 and this has brought about the need for some action," NZRU general manager of professional rugby Neil Sorenson said.
Lam has coached the Blues since 2008, winning 24 matches and losing 29. His best result came last year when the Blues reached the semifinals after finishing seventh in 2010 and ninth in 2009.
Their only win this season came over the Vodacom Bulls in round three. They have since lost seven-straight matches but play the MTN Lions on Friday in a match between the two lowest-placed teams in the tournament.