Doubt surrounds Graham Henry's long-term coaching future but his immediate plans are to coach the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham on November 26.
The World Cup-winning coach today (Monday) sidestepped enquiries about his coaching future but admitted he would take charge of the Barbarians for the first time next month.
"I think that could happen,'' he said. "That would be nice to do that. The Barbarians is a famous old club and it would be great to be associated with it.''
England's Daily Telegraph reported today four World Cup winners - Piri Weepu, Sonny Bill Williams, Adam Thomson and Keven Mealamu - would play alongside the likes of Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Danny Cipriani, Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts, Stephen Jones and Ryan Jones. But Henry questioned whether it was advisable for players weary from the rigours of the World Cup to make the journey.
"They would want to do that but it's been a hell of a long season for them,'' Henry said.
"It's been 12 tests in 14 weeks. That's never been done before, I don't think, so the boys are needing a rest. I don't know if they have a Barbarians game in there.
"I'm sure it will be a strong side and I'm looking forward to that and looking forward to getting back to Wales, actually, and seeing a few old mates. I think the Australians are playing Wales on the third of December, so I am looking forward to sitting in the stands and being a fan. I will be calling out for the Welsh, obviously.''
Whether he will be making any calls for the All Blacks in the future is harder to predict. It's widely assumed Sunday's test was Henry's last as coach but he refused to talk about his long-term plans today.
Henry says he has found "peace'' after the 8-7 win over France but whether that also means rest is unclear. He indicated some time ago he wouldn't be reapplying for the All Blacks' job once his contract expires but the waters have been muddied and the NZRU are keen to utilise his knowledge somehow.
"They haven't talked to me,'' Henry said. "Those are things for the future. The game just finished yesterday. I think it's important the game is reported and all this is finalised before people start talking about what they are going to do in the future.''
He spoke at length after the match about the value of continuity and learning from history and applauded the NZRU's unprecedented move to re-appoint the coaching team after an unsuccessful campaign. It wasn't popular at the time, especially with a good alternative in Robbie Deans available, but all was forgiven last night and Henry has now established the best record in the professional era with an 85 per cent winning record.
His comments seemed to be an endorsement for a continuation of the current set-up in some capacity. The obvious contender is Steve Hansen, especially with fellow assistant Wayne Smith joining the Chiefs.
"I think he would be a very good coach,'' Henry said today.
Hansen has made no secret of his desire to step up to the top job, even employing public relations consultants to improve his image, and is keen to have former Chiefs' coach Ian Foster and Japan forwards' coach Mick Byrne alongside him.
It's seen as too early for Todd Blackadder and Jamie Joseph, and Pat Lam still needs to prove himself as a top coach. Deans (Australia) and Warren Gatland (Wales) are also committed until 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Hansen told media last week to "ask me on Monday'' about his plans but he followed Henry's lead today and skirted around the issue.
"I said only if I'm sober and I don't know if I'm sober,'' he said at the conclusion of today's victory parade. ``I'm just enjoying the moment. Obviously one of the long-term goals is to coach the All Blacks but it's up to someone else to decide that.
"When you look at your profession, and coaching is my profession, you want to be the best you can be. And being the best you can be in this country is coaching the All Blacks. As long as you have the support of your family and the people who have to make the sacrifices to allow you to do the job, why wouldn't you want to do it?''