Sydney: Sacked Australia cricket coach Mickey Arthur is in talks to join Perth-based Super 15 rugby franchise Western Force, a report said on Wednesday.
The South African, who was axed two weeks before the Ashes series in June, has made it clear that he wants to remain in Perth, where he lives, and an Australian newspaper said a switch to rugby was on the cards.
It said he was in discussions with Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry about stepping into a role centred around talent development and recruitment at the club with a deal possible as early as next week.
Earlier this month, Arthur said he was looking for another job and hinted it did not necessarily have to be associated with cricket.
“There are a couple of options out there. I’ve had a couple of discussions. I’ll see how that unfolds over the next few weeks,” he told an Australian radio station.
‘I’m just hoping that one of the discussions I had last week comes to fruition because if it does, it will be quite exciting for me.
“The one thing my family said to me when all this happened was ‘Just understand, we’re not leaving Perth. We love Perth. We love WA (Western Australia)’.
“Whatever I do, I want to try to do it from here.”
Arthur, 45, has extensive rugby connections to his native South Africa and helped the Force lure Sias Ebersohn to the club from the Free State Cheetahs last year.
The newspaper said he has a good relationship with Force head coach Michael Foley.
Arthur admitted back in January, “I’m very passionate about rugby union”.
“I’ve jumped on the Western Force and talk a lot to Michael Foley, and I’m trying to help the Force with a little bit of recruitment from South Africa.”
The Force are increasingly looking to South Africa as a source of affordable talent that reduces their exposure to the Australian market’s bidding wars.