Robbie Deans, unsuccessful All Blacks coaching candidate, has not ruled out making a late run for the vacant Australian coaching job after missing out on the New Zealand role when the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) reappointed incumbent Graham Henry.
"If there was a willingness from their side and they were keen to have me and I felt it was appropriate for me and my family now, then that could become a possibility...," Deans told reporters.
"Obviously the Australians have expressed an interest... they have been very respectful in the way they have handled that.
"I'm sure there will be some dialogue at some point but for the moment I'm just going to take some time really."
"The most important thing... is that we get the best man to take the Wallabies forward to the 2011 World Cup."
ARU deputy chief executive
Deans had been tipped as the favourite for the New Zealand position after the NZRU made the job contestable following the All Blacks World Cup quarter-final loss to France.
The former All Blacks fullback has fashioned an impressive coaching resume with the Canterbury Crusaders, guiding them to four Super titles, two other finals and a semi-final in eight seasons and was an assistant All Blacks coach from 2001 to 2003.
Media in Australian have reported that Deans was the preferred candidate of John O'Neill, Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive, for the Wallabies head coaching job despite withdrawing from the selection process to chase the All Blacks position.
ARU board to decide
The ARU said that its board would review the recommendation of the interview panel next week, but also suggested that Deans could be a late addition to the five-man short list.
"Robbie Deans was not interviewed because he was not a candidate," Matt Carroll, ARU deputy chief executive, told reporters.
"(But) if he should become interested in the position then that is something for the board to consider at its meeting next week.
"That is entirely up to the board of the ARU where we proceed from there. The most important thing... is that we get the best man to take the Wallabies forward to the 2011 World Cup.
"It is up to the ARU board if they want to initiate any action, but at this stage we haven't spoken to Robbie Deans."