Decision expected any day but board will not yet show its hand.

The Blues have endured another difficult day, with confusion reigning over the role of an increasingly under-pressure John Kirwan.

Kirwan yesterday morning refused to answer on his future, on the assumption his role would not be decided until August after a statement read out by the struggling franchise's media manager.

Yesterday afternoon the Blues released a statement clarifying their position, saying the coaches would already be in place by August, but that any announcements would be made when details were confirmed.

The reality is a decision by the Blues board is imminent, although an announcement may not be.


Chief executive Michael Redman told the Herald recently a decision would "definitely" be made this month.

"Our original timetable said we'd have a decision by the end of May and I think we're on track to achieve that," he said.

The Blues would no doubt like to buy some time, although every day that goes by without an announcement encourages speculation surrounding the process and the decision-making at the franchise.

Kirwan wants to stay on with the help of Crusaders assistant Tabai Matson, who the Herald revealed was in Auckland on Tuesday meeting players and board members with a view to joining next year.

In front of a large media contingent at the Blues' headquarters yesterday, Kirwan refused to confirm or deny a meeting with Matson despite being pressed on the issue.

The Blues board probably hopes Matson can get on with coaching the Crusaders in relative peace before announcing his appointment once his team -- who remain in the frame for the playoffs -- finish their season, but it appears to be a forlorn hope. If Matson is moving to Auckland the Crusaders are unlikely to be keen on following the Blues' preferred timeframe.

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

Asked about the delay, Kirwan 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 isn't sitting on his hands as far as player recruitment is concerned. Despite no sign of a guarantee on his future he is already looking at signing and retaining players.

"We're doing it now," he said. "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."

That five-year plan appears to include Kirwan and whoever he can recruit to help him after three years of underachievement.