New Zealand Rugby's revelation that it had invited 26 Kiwi coaches to apply for the All Blacks head coach role is looking more and more ridiculous by the minute.
The latest contender to say "thanks but no thanks" to the All Blacks is Dave Rennie, with Rugby Australia announcing today that the Glasgow Warriors coach will take over from the departed Michael Cheika next year.
Rennie's decision to take the Wallabies job instead of wait around for NZ Rugby's process likely leaves two remaining viable candidates for the All Blacks in Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and Steve Hansen's right hand man Ian Foster.
Here's a list of five candidates who have slipped away from the All Blacks – and why they may have decided to stay clear from what, on paper, must surely be regarded as the top coaching job in world rugby.
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In announcing Rennie's appointment as head coach of the Wallabies – a four-year deal which would keep him there until the 2023 World Cup – fellow Kiwi CEO Raelene Castle called the signing "a massive coup for Australian rugby". And so it is.
Rennie is a highly respected man manager and has a proven track record in New Zealand, leading the Chiefs to their first two Super Rugby titles before departing to Scotland to coach the Glasgow Warriors.
When it comes to winning percentages among Kiwi coaches, Rennie is right at the top.
The 55-year-old admitted earlier this month that he was indeed one of those 26 names who were approached by NZ Rugby (in hindsight, not exactly an exclusive list is it?), and said he was "flattered and humbled".
But while he may have been in the conversation, the chance to be involved with the Wallabies – a young side with plenty of upside, who were clearly keen on his signature – may have been the safer bet for Rennie, especially considering NZ Rugby's apparent traditionalist leanings and insistence on continuity, something that may have put off many potential candidates.
Jamie Joseph/Tony Brown
Joseph shot to the top of the All Blacks' list after he led Japan to their first ever quarter-final berth at the World Cup.
But it was the way that he did it that was most impressive – with entertaining, high tempo rugby that All Blacks fans have gotten accustomed to over the years.
His combination with his highly sought-after assistant Tony Brown was the favourite of many fans and pundits to take over from Hansen's reign, but yet again, Joseph decided to go his own way and re-signed with Japan until the end of 2023.
It also means the All Blacks lose out on Brown, who rebuffed approaches from both Foster and Robertson to join their respective coaching teams to stick with Joseph.
Only 49 years old, Joseph will undoubtedly stay on the All Blacks radar going forward, with NZ Rugby even congratulating the Japan coach for re-signing in what was a strange statement.
"We congratulate and wish Jamie well as he continues his work coaching the Brave Blossoms. We respect his decision and his abilities as a coach," NZR chairman Brent Impey said.
What can't be ignored either is Japan's financial chops and what may have been a significant offer to keep Joseph at the Japanese Rugby Union.
Gatland also revealed that he was offered to apply for the All Blacks job but turned it down, choosing instead to honour his contract with the Chiefs until the end of 2023 while also coaching the British and Irish Lions in 2021.
The former Wales coach said he was "a little bit old school" and wanted to honour his commitment with the Chiefs and the Lions, but admitted that he may be interested in the All Blacks job in the future.
Regardless of contracts however, there's likely more to his decision than just being "old school", because the All Blacks coaching job should really be a dream job for every Kiwi coach. (It's unlikely that the Chiefs would've kicked up a fuss about Gatland wanting to join the All Blacks if he was offered the role).
But again, Gatland always felt like an outside chance and it was probably not worth going through the long and arduous NZ Rugby process.
And then there's Schmidt, who said no to the All Blacks even before it was cool.
Schmidt's stocks would've taken a major blow after his Ireland side got completely out-played by the All Blacks on the biggest stage of all, but he still remains one of the best rugby minds in the country.
He has publicly stated that he isn't interested in the All Blacks job and has expressed his desire to spend more time with his family, while also having other projects going on like his upcoming autobiography which he wrote himself.
However, don't rule out Schmidt from playing a part in the All Blacks in some other manner – perhaps as a Wayne Smith type – to whoever it is who decides that the top coaching role in New Zealand is actually a job worth having.