TARANAKI COACH Colin Cooper says he will not apply for the All Blacks top job.
The 52-year-old, who was interviewed for the role in at the end of 2007, had given it a lot of thought since being invited by the New Zealand Rugby Union to once again throw his hat in the ring.
However, he says there are several reasons for not doing so, including the belief that Steve Hansen was a shoe-in for the position vacated by Graham Henry.
And while he also feels coaching provincially has hurt his chances, he is keen to continue with Taranaki after its impressive season last year.
The amber and blacks won the Ranfurly Shield and narrowly miss a spot in the ITM Cup Premiership final.
“Going from ITM (Cup) straight to the All Blacks won't happen,” he told the Taranaki Daily News.
“At the moment it is all about 2012 and being here [in Taranaki] to defend the Shield and what happens after that.
“I can still go overseas, but to come back and be with my family and get the group of players we have got together to go from fifth to third and to win the Shield, I've been very, very pleased.”
He had not had any discussion with Hansen about a possible role in the next All Blacks coaching panel.
But while he would have to think long and hard if Hansen were to approach him, he feels it is unlikely to happen.
“He is a forwards head coach and I'm a forwards head coach. We are too similar.”
Cooper did, however, endorse Hansen’s bid.
“He has waited for his time and he deserves it,” he says.« Back to Archives
This weekend throws up another set of games which could go either way.
Which player was unlucky not to make the Wallabies’ preliminary squad for the British and Irish Lions series?