Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham during Brumbies training. Photo: Jay Cronan
The ACT Brumbies are poised to unveil their new coach as early as the weekend as Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher prepare to be interviewed in the coming days.
And while Jake White turned his back on the club to return to South Africa, the Brumbies still have faith in finding talent in the republic and have signed two rising stars from the Currie Cup.
It is understood White signed duo Lionel Cronje and Conrad Hoffmann before he decided to quit the last two years of his contract.
New Brumbies recruit Conrad Hoffman. Photo: Getty Images
Larkham and Fisher will front a four-man sub-committee this week to detail why they should be the next Brumbies coach following White's surprise departure last month.
The Brumbies have recruited AIS deputy director of athlete, coaching and leadership Andrew Logan as the final member of the selection panel.
Logan will join chairman Sean Hammond, chief executive Andrew Fagan and club great Brett Robinson in picking either Larkham or Fisher.
New Brumbies recruit Lionel Cronje. Photo: Getty Images
It is understood the Brumbies board could meet as early as Friday to ratify a decision, but contract negotiations and details could delay an announcement until next week.
Larkham and Fisher knocked back an approach from the board last month asking if they would consider being co-coaches for the 2014 Super Rugby campaign.
The former player-coach duo was adamant the club needed one leader to help them go one better after making the Super Rugby final in August.
The Brumbies opted for internal succession rather than going on a worldwide search to replace White and Larkham and Fisher were keen for an early decision.
The Brumbies are in their second week of pre-season training and the club is still finalising its 30-man full-time roster.
The Brumbies are still waiting on visa and contract details for Cronje and Hoffmann to be finalised before they can officially join the squad.
The rising stars' impending arrival offsets the departure of South African second-rower Etienne Oosthuizen, who was released from the last year of his contract to return home. The Brumbies have just one full-time roster spot left with Larkham and Fisher trying to recruit a second-rower to fill the hole left by Oosthuizen.
Cronje is a versatile back who can play five-eighth, inside-centre or fullback while Hoffmann is a halfback who will be the back-up for Wallabies No.9 Nic White.
Cronje and Hoffmann are completing their commitments in the Currie Cup and will join the Brumbies for pre-season training before the end of the year.
White, Larkham and Fisher have built the Brumbies squad over the past three years and breakaway Jordan Smiler said the coaching shake-up had no effect on player attitude.
White recruited Smiler on an extended player squad contract last year and the 28-year-old has been upgraded to the full-time roster for the 2014 season.
''I'm not sure how the coaching trio worked in terms of who was picking who [last season],'' Smiler said.
''It doesn't matter who is coaching or backing you, you're here to do a job and that's what I have to do. We've got a core group of guys here and we're just focused on the pre-season … no one is even talking about coaching and who's taking over the role.''