Considering his record, his odds don't look too promising. This isn't a case similar to Graham Henry following the 2007 World Cup, where he successfully re-applied, fending off Robbie Deans in the process. Henry had a magnificent record over a long period of time and just one blip in a quarter-final. The Blues in comparision have been atrocious for weeks now and the board are clearly testing the water here to see just who is available and who is willing.
A few years ago, getting the Blues hot seat was probably one of the best jobs in NZ rugby. It still is to a degree in terms of prestige, but if one was to take the reigns now, there would be a lot of hurdles and challenges to overcome. It's not simply a case of putting 15 players on a pitch. The organisation, put simply, is stagnating. The fact that the board seem to be placing all of the blame on the Blues' stuttering form on Pat Lam shows a lot of cowardice too in my opinion.
Pat Lam has remained dignified among all the mud slinging though and for that he should be applauded. There have been many factors behind the Blues' fall from grace this; injuries, All Blacks returning in bad shape, the strength of the NZ conference and a general loss of confidence. Now though, I think it's probably a good move for both parties if Lam goes in all honesty.
NZ Coaching Exodus
So, who exactly is out there? Lets get the frist one out of the way; Graham Henry. Let's be honest there is no chance of him taking over. He has committed to Argentina for the next two years, helps out around the Super Rugby franchises and has his own venture going with 'the rugby site'. Blues' fans may be calling out his name, but he has his hands busy.
Warren Gatland is coaching Wales and there is no chance in hell he's going to give that up any time soon, given the level of success he is having and the fact that he is coaching at International level. A move to the Blues would be a step down. There have been a few Kiwi coaches who have left NZ shores recently too as opportunities it had seemed, were lacking.
Former Auckland coach Mark Ancombe has also turfed off to Ireland, where he will be taking charge of Ulster. Given Anscombe's links with Auckland, he may have had a chance but that boat has now sailed.
The other big names have been offshore for a few years and I can't see them returning for a job at the Blues. It has been well publicised that Clermont's coach Vern Cotter would only return to NZ to coach the All Blacks. He indeed applied last time out. Leinster's Joe Schmidt would most probably feel that he can build a more accomplished C.V. in Ireland too. Two Heineken Cup winners medals (if Leinster beat Ulster) doesn't look to shabby.
Return of a Fallen Giant
Which brings me to a rather intersting candidate; John Hart. Remember him? He led Auckland to years of provincial glory, was an AB's assistant when NZ won the inaugral World Cup in '87 and was the first coach to lead NZ to a series win in South Africa in '96.
The rugby played under his tenure in '96/'97 was arguably the best I have ever seen. I still re-watch some of those games to this day! Of course, he also was coach when NZ suffered THAT shock loss against France in a World Cup semi-final.
Would he be willing to step into the hot seat at Auckland, or is the pain and abject humiliation he suffered at the hands of NZ fans following '99 still to fresh? Given the success he had as Director of Football at NZ Warriors in rugby league since then, perhaps he is just the man the Blues need. He is also a free agent after resigning from his post in December last year. Would he be up for the challenge though? That is the question that needs to be asked.
Who do you think is the best fit for the Blues? Please leave any ideas in the comments section below.