The Blues coaching controversy appears set to rumble on for a while yet.

In what was another confusing day for the franchise, John Kirwan answered questions from assembled media this morning on the assumption the board would not make an announcement on his future until August, only for the franchise to send a statement clarifying that the coaches would be in place by August and that an announcement would be made "when details are confirmed".

Kirwan also refused to confirm or deny meeting with Crusaders assistant Tabai Matson yesterday after the Herald revealed Matson spoke to players and board members in Auckland about a move north next season.

The courting of Matson is a distraction for the Blues, but more so for the Crusaders, who are still in with a chance of making the playoffs.


It is understood that Kirwan has presented a succession plan to the board which includes a key role for Matson.

"I know the indecision is creating news but I'm not prepared to talk about it," Kirwan said today as he tried to steer questions towards Friday night's match against the Bulls at Eden Park.

Asked about the delay, he said: "I think they're doing due diligence, I think they're going through a process to make sure they're very confident they're making the right decision. You're all here because of the record and where we are on the table and I understand that."

Kirwan admitted he had an eye to the future with his selections and also recruitment for next year and beyond. "We're doing it now. When I arrived we didn't have any succession plan. We've got a board which has got a five-year plan and one of the things that I would like to improve on is recruitment and selection... I think it would be wrong of me not to be recruiting for the future no matter what the end result is because I need to make sure the team is ready for next year."

Revised Blues statement:

"The Blues have not made any decisions on any of the coaching positions to fill for 2016, and are continuing to consider all of their options.

"There is no immediate pressure to make any coaching announcements. At the start of the season the Board wanted the key coaching staff for 2016 in place for the recruitment phase from August.

"We will continue to work to this timeframe and will make announcements when details are confirmed.

"The focus of the organisation is on the final four games of the season, ensuring our players and staff are fully supported."