The Welsh, seemingly content to follow New Zealand's every move, have flipped the normal order on its head and have shown the All Blacks how they should go about making their next coaching appointment.

Big ticks for the Welsh who have made a stunningly astute move in appointing their next coach a year before he takes over and possibly in time, they will have convinced every other major nation to conduct their process in the same manner.

What Wales have done is to ensure they have appointed the coach they wanted rather than the best coach who was available.

And there is a lesson in that for New Zealand Rugby who continue to believe that the best process for them to follow is to wait until after the World Cup and then expect every coach in the world to drop what they are doing and apply for the All Blacks job.


It is an outdated approach - one that may have worked a decade ago, but one that could possibly see them sifting through a smaller field of candidates then they would like.

Wouldn't it be better for them to look at what Wales have done and do the same? It makes perfect sense how the Welsh how went about things.

They were informed by long term incumbent Warren Gatland in June 2016 that he wouldn't be staying past his current contract which expires after the 2019 World Cup.

They immediately decided precisely what qualities they wanted in their next coach and then drew up a long list of candidates from around the world who they felt could meet their expectations.

Over the course of the last two years they have narrowed that long list down and eventually settled on former Auckland coach Wayne Pivac who will be with Wales from June next year, but won't assume control until after the World Cup.

It's a controlled succession where Pivac will be in an observational capacity six months before he takes over enabling him to milk Gatland's knowledge and expertise and potentially hit the ground running when he takes the reins after the World Cup.

What's stopping NZR running the same sort of process over the next year and then making an announcement ahead of the World Cup?

If they want Joe Schmidt, who is currently coaching Ireland, why not just go after him now? After all, Ireland, who are just as desperate to retain him, will be doing just that.

Or if they think current assistant Ian Foster is the right man to take over from Steve Hansen, again, why not begin the process of making that decision now?

Or maybe retaining Hansen is the best option, but the point is that NZR should be looking to answer those questions in the next 12 months so the All Blacks can go to the World Cup next year knowing what will be happening with their coach in 2020?

Basically it makes no sense to wait. There is no benefit - only a danger that some of the potential candidates are no longer available.

Schmidt is the most vulnerable to being off the market by then. What if Ireland win the World Cup?

Will he really walk away at that stage? And if Ireland do win, he'll be in even greater demand with England also believed to be keen to see if they can snare him to succeed Eddie Jones.

Coaching the All Blacks is a dream job no question and many good Kiwi coaches will have it as their ultimate goal, but that doesn't mean they will all be in a position to apply for the post should it be contestable at the end of 2019.

Wales have shown the way to do it - go early, get who you want not who you are left with.