Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has extended with the club until the end of the 2022 and is keen to continue building on the success he’s achieved in the capital since taking the reins in 2018.
McKellar made the announcement a week before his side kicks off their title defence against the Western Force for round one of the 2021 Super Rugby AU season on Thursday 19 February.
He described the decision to stay in the capital a no-brainer.
“There was absolutely no reason to consider going anywhere,” he said.
“I don’t think coaches are too different to players; you like to have all the off-field business sorted out so we can just focus on what’s important, and that’s February 19.”
2021 will be the 44-year-old’s fourth season in charge at the club with the side winning the inaugural Super Rugby AU title last year.
McKellar first arrived in the capital in 2011, where he took the Tuggeranong Vikings to back-to-back John I Dent Championships, before joining the Brumbies as an assistant coach in 2013.
Long feared for their set-piece and famous rolling maul, under McKellar’s tutelage the Brumbies have become a more balanced side by way of an expansive, dynamic attack and stingy defence.
“We like to think now we’ve got a whole lot more tools in the kit,” McKellar said.
Having rounded out the side’s rugby program with help from assistant coaches Laurie Fisher and new addition Rod Seib, McKellar said there’s still plenty to work on over the next two years.
“We want to get better,” he said.
Fisher and Seib will both be at the club until at least the end of 2022 too, keeping the core coaching unit together.
“We’re nowhere near our ceiling, we feel we’ve got a whole lot of improvement in us – that’s coaches and players – and that excites us,” McKellar said.
“Whilst we won Super Rugby AU (in 2020), we probably look back on it and feel like we didn’t play to our full potential.
“There’s certain areas of our attack that we’ve done a lot of work on since the end of 2017 to be honest.
“We were very good defensively last year … We think we can be better and use defence to get the ball back to then go on attack; they go hand in hand.”
Having been touted as a future international coach and with the 2023 Rugby World Cup on the horizon, McKellar was non-committal on whether he’d like to join the Wallabies set-up before the tournament.
“Players aspire to play at the highest level, coaches are no different and that’s certainly what I aspire to do one day,” he said.
“Whether that’s in the near future or a few years down the track, or if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.
“Life’s all about opportunity and timing and if that opportunity presents at the right time for me, it’s obviously something I’d consider.”
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