Laurie Fisher. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
Former Brumbies captain Stirling Mortlock believes Laurie Fisher's run of narrowly missing out on the Super Rugby finals during his previous stint as head coach will add to his motivation this time around.
Fisher and fellow assistant Stephen Larkham have both put their hand up to replace Jake White, who left the Brumbies with two years to go on his contract.
The Brumbies are finalising the subcommittee that will interview prospective candidates.
Chairman Sean Hammond and chief executive Andrew Fagan will be involved, with foundation captain Brett Robinson and Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard also likely to be included. Howard's availability depends on his cricket commitments as he will be travelling to India for Australia's tour in October.
Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is still without a job, but he has been linked with French club Clermont Auvergne, while ex-Brumby Jim Williams is understood to be interested.
Fisher and Larkham are considered the front-runners because of their close relationship with the players and impressive work during White's tenure.
For Fisher, it would be his second time in charge of the Brumbies after he was head coach from 2005 to 2008.
The Brumbies did not make the finals during that time, but went close in all but his last season. They finished fifth in 2005, missed the playoffs in 2006 when they were sixth because of an inferior points differential, and were fifth again in 2007.
The Brumbies fell off the pace in 2008, slumping to a 6-7 win/loss record and a ninth-placed finish after it was announced midway through the season Fisher's contract would not be renewed.
Mortlock - who made more than 100 appearances for the Brumbies from 1998-2010 and had 80 caps for the Wallabies - believed Fisher would be well equipped to take the current squad to the finals.
''Laurie would love to have another crack at it from that perspective,'' Mortlock said.
''I thought he did a great job, he just didn't quite get it together to push for a premiership or at least make the finals.
''It was a different time and a different group as well.
''I look back at the time Laurie was head coach and it was a bit of an unlucky time for the club,'' Mortlock said.
''There were a number of years where we just missed out on the finals.
''A couple of those we were in exceptional form, but unfortunately we didn't get there.''
Fisher and Larkham have both said they are willing to work with the other if they miss out on the head coaching role.
''Either way, the two of them will work really well together,'' Mortlock said.
''Both of them would be good choices.
''The last period of time they have worked really well in their capacity underneath Jake, so there's no reason why they wouldn't work well together moving forward.''