McKellar to step into fulltime Wallabies role at end of Super Rugby 2022 season

Dan McKellar at Wallabies training in Auckland Andrew Phan/Wallabies Media

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has confirmed the 2022 season will be his final with the franchise as he prepares to step into a fulltime role as Wallabies assistant coach.

McKellar started his career at the Brumbies in 2014 before he took over the reins as head coach in 2018. During his time in the lead position he has seen his team rise to a 2018 Super Rugby semifinal appearance, a 2020 Super Rugby AU title and 2021 Super Rugby AU finals appearance.

With one year left on the books, McKellar is keen to hit the ground running on his return from his Wallabies assignment.

"Incredibly tough [decision]," McKellar said from Auckland. "I'll be forever grateful for to the Brumbies and it's been a huge part of my life. I've spent the best part of a decade in in Canberra including my time at Tuggeranong. It'll be a sad day when I do leave, but you know I'm just excited to get back there once I finish my commitments here and rip in and have a really good season.

"The timing was right just for me and for my family. It's time for me to challenge myself and coach at the highest level with the Wallabies, but I'll rip into the next couple of months and then get back to Canberra and work closely with Lori and Rod and all the staff and the players and make sure the Brumbies final year for myself is a good one."

McKellar was originally offered the Wallabies forward assistant coach position in 2020, but politely declined, before he was offered the role again at the start of the Wallabies 2021 season. He will now retain the position on a fulltime bases once he finishes his commitments in Canberra and is contracted until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

He joins fellow assistants Scott Wisemantel, Matt Taylor and Petrus Du Plessis in a fulltime capacity after next year's Super Rugby season.

Current Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has said previously he views McKellar as his potential successor down the track, but McKellar said he doesn't buy into the idea.

"I'm not big on those sort of succession plans or those sort of conversations. Those sorts of things can go pear shape really quickly," McKellar said.

"What will be will be. I'm just really grateful to be here and coach professionally, full stop.

"If one day I get the chance to be head coach of the Wallabies, then that would be something to be incredibly proud of. But I'm in no rush."

Once the Brumbies decide on who will take over at the end of next season, McKellar said he was open to helping the new coach with the transition.

"If there's a chance to grab a couple of coffees and spend a couple of days together and make sure that there's a smooth handover, then that's always beneficial to the next head coach," McKellar said.