UPDATE: No approach yet, says McKenzie as O'Shea reiterates 'Quins commitment

Saracens have also issued a protective message over Mark McCall.

Maybe the IRFU could get in touch by 'walkie talkie'.
Maybe the IRFU could get in touch by 'walkie talkie'.
Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

UPDATE 14:50

IRELAND’S LEADING OVERSEAS coaches have this afternoon distanced themselves from hot-seat vacated by Declan Kidney yesterday.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea and Saracens’ Mark McCall – both of whom face Irish opposition in the Heineken Cup this weekend – are both potential home-grown options as a new head coach.

O’Shea however, as he did in February, reiterated his stance that he wishes to carry on his successful time with Harlequins through his new contract which expires in 2014.

“Absolutely not.” O’Shea responded to the Evening Standard today. “I am contracted to Harlequins until the end of the 2013-14 season. I will be honouring that commitment and, hopefully, continuing beyond it. Of course with the fixtures this weekend there are lots of questions but I’ve made my position very clear.”

The leading southern hemisphere canditate remains outgoing Queensland Reds coach Ewen McKenzie. But Wallabies’ target insists he has not had any offers and says  he is ‘not stressing about it’:

“I haven’t spoken to anyone about the job,” McKenzie tells The Australian. “I haven’t done anything about the job. It wasn’t vacant until this morning. No one has contacted me.

“I need to look at my options. That level interests me. I’ve already said that. The circumstances have to be right. The timing has to be right.

“I’m not stressing about it. We’ll see what happens.”

Another mooted target in the Super XV is the ACT Brumbies’ World Cup winning coach, Jake White.

The South African is receiving huge plaudits for his work in rejuvenating the Canberra franchise who currently top the Super XV. But White too has taken a step to quash the link on Twitter…

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While McCall would be a less attractive appointment, Saracens’ current form means he should not be discounted. But that same form will also make him difficult for Sarries CEO Edward Griffiths to let go.

“It is completely understandable that when jobs like this come up that Mark’s name is mentioned because he is one of the most successful coaches in Europe.” Griffith said, adding:

“Just like the rest of our coaching staff, Mark recently signed a two-year extension and he remains totally committed to what we are doing at the club. We have not had any contact from the Irish RFU and our sole focus is the game with Ulster on Saturday.”

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Sean Farrell

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