McKenzie denies Australia talks
Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has denied claims he has begun talks to take over as Australia boss.
The 46-year-old has been forced to fend off claims he is in line to eventually replace current incumbent Robbie Deans after this week's shock announcement that he would give up the Reds reins to move into a coaching director role next year.
"I don't have any thoughts exterior to what's going on at Queensland Rugby," said McKenzie. "
You can speculate all you like about that and the motivations and whatever, but in the end we're trying to put in the best model for Queensland rugby. That's all I'm concentrating on. I've had no discussions with the ARU about anything."
When McKenzie inherited the Reds at the start of 2010 they were a side whose best finish in the previous four years was 12th.
In his first year they went within a whisker of making the finals, finishing fifth on the ladder, and in his second they became the first Australian team to win the title since the Brumbies in 2004.
But McKenzie, who guided the Reds to the Super 15 title last year, claimed he had an expiry date as a head coach, and that he was ready to test himself elsewhere to ensure the success of Queensland rugby.
"I understand sport well enough to know that my time as head coach of the Reds is going to be finite and it was always going to be finite," he said.
"You've got to keep changing the voices. I can change the players, I can change the staff around me - eventually everyone is going to be changed.
"You want to do that in a way that you can manage it yourself, get the best for yourself and the best for the organisation.
"This is all longer-term stuff. We're not living in the moment, we're trying to look two or three years ahead and think what it's going to look like then and make sure it's better than it looks now."