Connacht remain confident that they will have Eric Elwood's successor lined up by the end of the January deadline they have set for themselves, WRITES JOHN FALLON.
Connacht CEO Tom Sears said that they were at an advanced stage in the process. There was intense speculation yesterday that former Ospreys coach Sean Holley (pictured) was considering an offer to take on the job.
Holley confirmed yesterday that he is interested in the post, but declined to go into detail as the process is ongoing.
"I have huge respect for what Eric Elwood has done for Connacht and all the work which has taken place on and off the park, with the new board and all the other developments," said Holley.
"It is a sensitive time for all the other candidates as well, so we will see how it works out."
Connacht had set a target of having their new coach in place before the end of January, with current assistant coaches Billy Millard and Dan McFarland, Clermont Auvergne backs coach Alex King, former Sale coach Tony Hanks and Tongan Pat Lam also believed to be in the running for the position.
Sears said Connacht were making progress. "It is a confidential process, but it is at an advanced stage. We said all along that we hoped to have it completed by the end of January and we hope to do that."
Dwyer on the mend after heart attack
The 72-year-old, who led the Wallabies to their 1991 World Cup triumph in England and later coached both Leicester and Bristol, is reported to have complained of chest pains at home before being taken to a Sydney hospital, where he suffered the heart attack.
Dwyer said: "I feel fine. I had a cardiac arrest whilst I was in the emergency ward. I was on a monitor and had the doctor with me and (then) I had the arrest.
"They gave me the electrical charge and I came straight back. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. If it had happened at home, I'd be dead."
There was swift reaction from the rugby world to Dwyer's fright.
Former Australia centre Tim Horan, who played in Australia's World Cup final win over England at Twickenham 21 years ago, wrote on Twitter: "Wishing Bob Dwyer a speedy recovery from a heart attack. Not many can combine being a great coach and a great person."
A more recent Wallaby, Wendell Sailor, wrote: "Just like to wish Bob Dwyer a speedy recovery after suffering a heart attack, one of the real gentleman."