The Plus500 Brumbies have begun recruiting for the 2023 season after confirming head coach Dan McKellar will finish up with the club at the end of next year’s Super Rugby season.
McKellar is currently seconded to the Wallabies, taking on the role of assistant coach-forwards for the national side’s 2021 test season. He is set to stay in the role until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
McKellar said he felt the time was right to make a call on his future with the club.
“The Brumbies gave me a chance in 2014 and have shown tremendous faith in me over these last four years as head coach,” McKellar said.
“It will be incredibly difficult to leave the Brumbies at the end of next season, but I feel that this is the right time to make a call on my future to give the club time to plan for beyond 2022.
“I will obviously say my goodbyes when the time is right, and I do want to thank everyone in the Brumbies family for their ongoing support. We have a job to do next season, and I’m excited to get back to Canberra after finishing my duties with the Wallabies and finishing off my time with the Brumbies on a high.
“We have a talented, united group and from my perspective, making the decision now gives us all clarity and time to plan so that we can focus on the upcoming season as a team and organisation to perform at our best for our fans and our community.”
The 45-year-old joined the Brumbies in 2014, having grown his reputation in the ACT rugby community with the Tuggeranong Vikings.
He took the reins as head coach in 2018, leading the Brumbies to the Super Rugby Semi-Final in 2019, and back-to-back Super Rugby AU Grand Finals in the last two seasons, guiding the side through unprecedented times in 2020 to claim a memorable domestic crown against the Queensland Reds at GIO Stadium.
“I truly love this club and what it stands for, and I’ve always said my goal was to leave the Brumbies in a better place than when I took over as head coach, so I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that happens,” McKellar said.
Brumbies Rugby CEO Phil Thomson paid tribute to McKellar’s contributions to the club.
“Dan has led the club incredibly well in his time as head coach and will leave a lasting legacy at the Brumbies when he departs at the end of next season,” he said.
“Winning Super Rugby AU in 2020, given the circumstances of that season, will live long in the memory, but Dan has also been instrumental in re-establishing our academy, which has seen both local talent and young players from around the country get a chance to play Super Rugby and to represent the club and its values.
“While it will be tough to see Dan complete his time with us at the end of next season, it is helpful that he has made this decision now to allow us time to plan for the future.
“Dan and the team’s focus is solely on the 2022 Super Rugby season, but we will now begin the recruitment process to replace Dan together with ensuring that we maintain a good level of continuity in our staff group for 2023 and beyond.”