This is the clearest sign yet that David Kidwell's time at the helm is over.
The NZRL's decision to change the coaching eligibility rule to open the Kiwis coaching job up to all comers is hardly surprising and perhaps the first common-sense call to made by the national body since last year's failed World Cup campaign.
The NZRL press release went to pains to deny any correlation between Kidwell's poor record – three wins from 10 tests – and the announced change, but the writing is on the wall.
Kidwell, of course, is free to re-apply for the job, but it would be totally bizarre for the NZRL to indicate they are willing to scouring the globe for the best candidate - only to stick with the guy that has clearly struggled in the role.
It may be that Kidwell is not banished completely and he could possibly remain involved in the Kiwis set-up, as he has previously, as an assistant coach, but his days in charge must be numbered.
We'll know more about the reasons behind the limp manner in which the Kiwis were bundled out of the World Cup, after embarrassing losses to both Tonga and Fiji, once the findings of the independent review into the debacle are made public early next month.
A draft summary of the review prompted the NZRL to make the coaching eligibility rule change and will also result in the formation of an independent panel tasked with providing a recommendation for the new Kiwis head coach.
At this stage it appears to be a guessing game as to who they might eventually pin down as a replacement and obvious solutions are hardly widely available – either on these shores or further abroad.
The lack of suitable candidates rising through the local coaching ranks points to a long-existing problems with development pathways – just ask Richie Blackmore.
And while the Kiwis may now be in the market for a clued-up foreign coach, the already cash-strapped NZRL would likely have a hard time tailoring together a package that could lure one considered among the best in the business.
Along with finding a solution to the coaching problem, hopefully these peripheral issues regarding coaching development and a lack of revenue will also be addressed with the highly anticipated review set to influence and help shape the NZRL's four-year Strategic Plan going forward.
Changes are in the wind, let's hope they blow through swiftly.
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