ACT Brumbies mentor Dan McKellar says his priority is leading the club to Super Rugby success despite being thrown into contention as a Wallabies coaching candidate.
The Brumbies' brainstrust could be targeted as part of a major Wallabies upheaval in the wake of Michael Cheika's departure and a World Cup flop.
McKellar, Laurie Fisher and Peter Hewat loom as attractive options for different roles as under pressure Rugby Australia officials attempt to rebuild a broken system.
It is widely thought New Zealand's Dave Rennie and Eddie Jones are the front-runner to fill Cheika's shoes, but McKellar's stocks have risen after guiding the Brumbies to the finals this year.
His name is being mentioned as the leading prospect of the current Australian Super Rugby mentors and has more than a decade of coaching experience, although he has been in charge of the Brumbies for just two seasons.
It's understood Rugby Australia have been impressed with his progress since taking the reins last year and there are calls for Cheika's replacement to be Australian.
The Brumbies re-signed McKellar earlier this year, putting faith in his leadership to end the club's title drought.
"I haven't thought about [the Wallabies]. I'm very happy and comfortable with my role at the Brumbies," McKellar told The Canberra Times.
"We've got an exciting group of players and I really think there is a bright future there.
"Coaches, just like players, aspire to be at the highest level. But I'm going into my third season with the Brumbies and that's where my focus is - purely on making sure the Brumbies are ready to go."
The Wallabies arrived in Sydney on Tuesday morning, Cheika telling reporters at the airport his preference was for an Australian to be his replacement.
Rennie's success with the Chiefs makes him the obvious man despite his New Zealand heritage.
But if Rugby Australia wanted a home-grown mentor, McKellar, Jones and Stephen Larkham could be thrust into the mix.
''I think definitely we should be pushing for an Australian coach,'' Cheika said. ''It's not up to me but I think we should be backing and supporting Australian coaches wherever possible.''
McKellar also has experience as a forwards coach and could be considered for an assistant's role. Fisher and Hewat are also in that basket as highly-rated experts.
Fisher has been one of Australia's leading forwards coaches for almost 20 years and has taken charge of the Brumbies' breakdown and defence in the past 12 months.
Former NSW point-scoring ace Hewat led the Australian schoolboys to a drought-breaking win against New Zealand earlier this month. It was the first time Australia had beaten New Zealand in seven years.
Fisher's expertise and knowledge would be a massive asset to a new Wallabies mentor, while Hewat is considered one of the up-and-coming coaches in the Australian system.
The Brumbies re-signed them both last season to keep their coaching trio together for the coming years, but there have been murmurings out of Rugby Australia headquarters about higher duties.
Former Brumbies coach and Wallabies great Larkham is the other darkhorse, despite being sacked by Cheika earlier this year.
Larkham was the sacrificial lamb in Cheika's fight to keep his job less than 12 months ago and has since moved to Ireland to link with Munster.
''I've had Bernie [Larkham] at the Brumbies. Enjoyed my time there,'' retiring Wallabies flanker David Pocock said after arriving home.
''My understanding is he's pretty well locked in overseas [with Munster]. All those things are above our pay grade. That's for the people at the top to be deciding and setting the agenda.''