Australia’s newly appointed high performance director, Peter Horne, has expressed his desire to find the best candidate for the Wallabies coaching job, regardless of their nationality. Horne, who is set to start in March, will be working closely with RA CEO Phil Waugh to establish the right process and selection panel for the role. Expressions of interest from coaches will be open next week, and the aim is to make an appointment by the first quarter of 2024.
Horne emphasized the importance of attracting the best possible candidates and creating a strong coaching team and support staff. He is open to both international and Australian candidates, with a focus on finding the right fit for the role. He mentioned the need to ensure success for the Wallabies and other national teams. While Horne has a close relationship with Kiwi Joe Schmidt, he is open to candidates from various backgrounds.
The selection process, according to Waugh, is a sprint given the time constraints, but it is crucial to get it right. He stressed the importance of finding the best possible coach to lead the system and the culture. Both Horne and Waugh expressed willingness to engage with key stakeholders and rebuild trust with the playing group in light of past issues.
Horne’s role will extend beyond the Wallabies, focusing on talent retention and development for the future. Drawing from his experience working with international rugby systems, he aims to bring expertise and knowledge to deliver successful teams for Australian rugby. Horne also highlighted the significance of engaging with member unions and aligning strategies across all levels of the game.
The ultimate vision, as outlined by Rugby Australia, is to bring back successful teams for the Wallabies and other national teams, including hosting major international events. Horne’s extensive international experience in the field of high performance and strategic planning will be instrumental in realizing this vision.