WANTED.

A head coach for the Super Rugby champions.

The Highlanders officially opened the door on Tuesday to one of the more beguiling coaching posts in the southern hemisphere, seeking a replacement for the departing Jamie Joseph.

Joseph's six-year stint ends this year, before he leaves to become Japan's national coach until 2019.

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His assistant, Tony Brown, has signed to remain in that role next year, leaving a top-dog vacancy which chief executive Roger Clark hopes will prove attractive to quality candidates in New Zealand and overseas.

He wants to announce a replacement by the end of the current season, with expressions of interest sought over the next month.

"We want to cast the net far and wide and now is the ideal time to be in the market as the Japanese season has concluded and the northern hemisphere season is drawing to a close," he said.

"We are looking for a quality field to choose from. We are very proud of what we have achieved here already, and we are proud of the environment we have."

Former Crusaders, and Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans was recently linked to the role, prompting him to clarify he has no interest in returning to a Super Rugby post.

Former Canterbury coach Rob Penney has expressed a desire to coach in Super Rugby and could be a contender at both the Highlanders and the Crusaders, where Todd Blackadder is finishing this season.

Penney was a Crusaders assistant under Deans a decade ago and has coached leading clubs in Ireland and Japan.

- AAP