Mooar Money . . . Scarlets Want £200k For Brad As Glenn Delaney Stands By

The Scarlets will demand £200,000 in compensation for allowing head coach Brad Mooar to join the All Blacks.

The region have confirmed in a statement that Mooar is wanted by New Zealand as part of the backroom staff working for new All Blacks coach Ian Foster.

Although the Scarlets are desperate to keep Mooar – who is only six months into a three-year contract – they have decided their best strategy is to negotiate a deal for a proportion of his remaining time and move on.

They took the same decision in 2014 when Ireland came calling for Simon Easterby, although they were in a stronger position then as they had a readymade, hugely experienced, replacement on hand in Wayne Pivac.

This time, the safest pair of hands to replace Mooar – at least in the short term – would appear to be Glenn Delaney, another New Zealander, who has spent time in charge of Nottingham and London Irish as well as role with the Hurricanes and Canterbury in his homeland.

A release deal for former Crusaders coach Mooar is expected to be wrapped up early in the new year, although he could stay in post until the end of the season.

It would mean the region would have lost four coaches since the summer, following the trio of Pivac, Stephen Jones and Byron Hayward who all left to take over with Wales after the departure of Warren Gatland.

His loss would be a bitter blow as his short-term impact has been seven wins in his first 10 matches in charge – despite the absence of many World Cup stars – and in the longer-term he seemed ideally suited to retain the region’s presence in the Heineken Champions Cup.

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The Scarlets’ statement said: “We have been made aware that newly appointed All Blacks head coach Ian Foster would like Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar to join his New Zealand coaching team at the end of the 2019/20 season.

“Discussions between the Scarlets and New Zealand Rugby are at an early stage and we are unable to comment further until those discussions are concluded.

“In the meantime Brad, the coaching team and playing group are firmly focused on this evening’s crucial European Challenge Cup match against Bayonne, followed by the big Welsh derby matches over the festive season.”

Foster knows that as he build his coaching team he must satisfy a New Zealand public that has become used to an extraordinary level of success.

“We need to change some things up, we’re coming off a semi-final loss that hurt so there’s a group with a lot of pain in it at the moment,” he said.

“So how we adjust and refresh this group and change things up is going to be vital. Just to create the energy we need to get back where we want to be.”

Handed a two-year contract, Foster will have to be on the lookout for fresh, young playing talent straight away.

Kieran Read, Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill Williams have all signalled an end to their Test careers by moving abroad along with the likes of Matt Todd, Liam Squire and Waisake Naholo, who gave the All Blacks impressive depth under former coach Steve Hansen.

In addition, senior players Sam Whitelock, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick have sabbaticals built into their contracts with the latter unavailable for the next two years while he plays club rugby in Japan.

 

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