Wellington - The new All Blacks coach will be named earlier than expected, with an announcement to be made on Friday.
Graham Henry's successor had been expected to be named
next week, but the New Zealand Rugby Union said it wanted the new coach
in place before Christmas.
Rugby World Cup-winning coach Henry stood down following New
Zealand's 8-7 win over France in October's final, and assistant coach
Steve Hansen is seen as his logical successor.
Clermont coach Vern Cotter, who worked with Robbie Deans
at the Crusaders in 2005 and 2006 as assistant coach, is also a strong
Short-listed candidates for the position were interviewed
by a six-strong selection panel, including NZRU chief executive Steve
Tew, All Blacks manager Darren Shand and high performance manager Don Tricker.