Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger has given an honest response as to whether or not he would be interested in a role with the All Blacks.
New Zealand Rugby invited 26 Kiwi coaches plying their trade around the world to throw their name into the ring for consideration in the All Blacks coaching ranks, following Steve Hansen's departure at the end of the World Cup.
Heading into his third season as Highlanders head coach, Mauger quashed any suggestions that he would be applying for a vacant role with the national side.
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"I think all the Super Rugby coaches had emails and information around an application process but it's not something I was interested in at all at this stage; not in the next five years anyway," he said.
"My focus is really on the Highlanders – I love it down there and I want to make sure we set ourselves up to launch forward and create an awesome path for the Highlanders going forward."
While Mauger wasn't interested in joining the All Blacks' coaching ranks, he said it wouldn't affect his team next season if incoming assistant coach Tony Brown was added to the fray.
Brown returns to the Highlanders this season on the back of an impressive Rugby World Cup campaign with Japan, and has chosen to support Jamie Joseph in his push to be the next All Blacks coach.
Brown and Joseph have worked together with the Japanese national team with success, leading the team into the knockout stages of this year's World Cup. However, it wasn't just Joseph who was hoping to have Brown in his corner for the All Blacks role, with Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and All Blacks assistant Ian Foster unsuccessfully trying to recruit him.
Should Brown end up as a part of the next All Blacks team, Mauger said at least in the short term it wouldn't change anything for the Highlanders.
"It won't have an impact on next year. It might in the following few years, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."