Was head coach at the Chiefs – promoted after a brief stint with Waikato – between 2004 and 2011. The Chiefs made the playoffs in his first year in charge and only one other time, when they reached the final in 2009 and fell to a huge defeat against the Bulls.
Was a surprise choice as Hansen’s assistant in 2011 but has proven himself astute, analytical, intelligent and a little bit innovative.
The All Blacks players respect him and the attacking game has been enormously successful since he arrived. Has ingrained knowledge of the All Blacks, their cultures and systems and has a depth of international experience few other coaches could match.
Has a strong claim to take over as head coach.
Was involved with Bay of Plenty in the early 2000s before taking a role as Blues assistant in 2005 and 2006.
Headed to Clermont to work with his old Bay of Plenty mate Vern Cotter, where the pair were hugely successful.
Schmidt was head hunted by Leinster following his exploits in France and after helping them finally win the Heineken Cup, he was promoted to the Ireland job in 2013. Has been a revelation with the Irish – taking them up to number two in the world at one point and of course plotting their first win in 111 years over the All Blacks.
Is renowned for his attention to detail, meticulous planning and ability to keep teams playing within their systems.
Contracted with Ireland until 2019.
Made a name for himself with Bay of Plenty in the early 2000s and had a brief stint as an assistant coach with the Crusaders under Robbie Deans in 2006.
Having played in France, he was lured there as a coach by Clermont and became a hugely loved, respected and admired figure in the Top 14.
His success there landed him a role as head coach of Scotland and after a slow start, he transformed them into a totally different team.
The Scots were unlucky not to make the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup and yet strangely, they decided not to renew Cotter’s contract, which meant he moved to Montpellier after the Six Nations this year.
Has test experience and great knowledge of overseas rugby.
Warren Gatland can trace his roots in the international game back to 1998 when he was appointed coach of Ireland when he was just 34.
He was settling into the job when a political coup took place within the union and Gatland was moved on. He headed to Wasps in London where he won the Heineken Cup and English Premiership three years on the trot.
A brief stint back with Waikato in 2006 didn’t open the door to any job he fancied in New Zealand so when Wales came calling after the 2007 World Cup he jumped.
He’s been there since and also coached the Lions twice in 2013 and of course on their recent 2017 visit to New Zealand.
Has a wealth of experience and knowledge and enormous global respect.