Blues chief executive Andy Dalton says he had no option but to advertise the franchise's coaching role.
Dalton took the plunge yesterday, saying the position of Blues coach for 2013 would be advertised next week and that incumbent Pat Lam was welcome to reapply.
"Given the situation the team is in – one [win] from 10, which is the poorest record the Blues have had – it was felt that the best way forward was to get the position out there for 2013 and get the best coaching group together that we can," Dalton said.
The intention is to conduct interviews through June and make an appointment in July. Dalton said there had already been interest from outside coaches, but he wouldn't name names.
The writing has been on the wall for Lam for some time, but Blues chairman Gary Whetton rejected the suggestion that this decision should have been made earlier. "Not at all, it's a process we go through," he said.
"There is a time frame for everything. We don't just decide we're going to do this tomorrow, but it's the right thing for the Blues to do going forward, to look at the best options."
Lam refused to say whether he'd apply to keep his job. Each time he was asked, he dodged the question.
"I've got a job to do this week and that's the most important thing," he said.
The second time he said: "Like I said last week when everyone was asking me about my future, it's about doing a job here and I'm contracted to finish this off.
"We know where we're at, we know we're working hard to get a win and I'll continue doing my job."
There are six more games to get through this season and Graham Henry will assist the team for the remainder of the campaign.
Tomorrow night they play the Lions, who have also won only one game. To compound Lam's problems, he has three more players on the injury list.
Gone from the team that lost to the Hurricanes last weekend are Chris Lowrey, Rene Ranger and George Moala, while Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu are still out with calf strains.
BLUES: Hadleigh Parkes, David Raikuna, Ma'a Nonu, Michael Hobbs, Benson Stanley, Gareth Anscombe, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Daniel Braid, Luke Braid (c), Ali Williams, Liaki Moli, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau. Reserves: James Parsons, Angus Ta'avao, Filo Paulo, Steven Luatua, Alby Mathewson, Lachie Munro, Sherwin Stowers.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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