Scarlets want Rebels' coach Wessels
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Scarlets face an uphill battle in their pursuit of current Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels.
The 36-year-old South African is off contract with Melbourne at the end of the 2019 season.
And according to WalesOnline Wessels, the former Western Force coach, has become the no.1 target for the Scarlets to replace the departing Wayne Pivac, after the deal with Canterbury coach Rob Penney fell through last week.
The newspaper also revealed that Wessels had already been interviewed for the Scarlets job.
However, the Australian franchise will not let him go without a fight.
Rugbycomau reported that Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson insisted they had already begun negotiations to extend Wessels’ contract beyond 2019.
“I am confident Dave is happy here in Melbourne and I am certainly hopeful he will stay,” Stephenson told RUGBY.com.au.
“I am talking to Rugby Australia about extending his contract for another couple of years, and that process is well underway. He is certainly the guy we want to lead the club for the next few years.
“He is very, very committed to ripping into 2019 and we are very, very keen to keep him. He is enjoying the role and enjoying the challenge and wanting to build on what he started,”
Reports in Wales indicated the Scarletts club expected to announce by this week who will be their next head coach.
Asked about timings, Stephenson said he hoped to have a new contract with Wessels locked in his safe “by Christmas,”
“If we can do that we can roll into ‘19 without distractions and it sends a clear message not only to our playing group but our staff and the whole rugby community down here that we have very high-quality people on board,” Stephenson said.
Source: WalesOnline & Rugbycomau