Embattled Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is keen to stay in the job until the 2015 World Cup, but Australia's new rugby chief says he will have to reapply for the role when his contract runs out.
Deans, who has been in charge since 2008, has been under pressure since Australia's poor Rugby Championship campaign last year, although a European tour that saw them beat England, Italy and Wales handed him breathing space.
His contract expires at the end of the year and he is certain to lead the team for their Tests in 2013, including three against the British and Irish Lions in June and July.
But when Bill Pulver, who was named John O'Neill's successor at the helm of the Australian Rugby Union on Wednesday, was asked if Deans would need to reapply for the job after that, he told Fairfax Media: "Yes."
The two men had breakfast together this week and New Zealander Deans's future was on the agenda.
"There is no question that Robbie, and I am sure a number of other coaches, will really want to take the Australian rugby team right through to the 2015 World Cup (in England)," Pulver told Fairfax.
Asked if Deans revealed his ambitions in their talk, he said: "Absolutely. He is loving the role and he wants to push on for as long as he can."
Pulver said he would outline the selection process and timeline for a new coach once he formally starts his new role on February 1.
"It's premature for me to suggest that I have a solution in mind for how we select the next coach. Needless to say, a lot of attention will be focused on that leading up to it," he said.
"We have got some time this year to put together the specification for the role (as the next Wallabies coach). And we will do that deliberately and carefully, and in due course I will let you know all the details."
Pulver, who has a background in marketing, shot to prominence in 2011 when a masked intruder broke into his luxury Sydney home and strapped a device, thought to be a bomb, around the neck of his daughter Madeleine, then 18.
The teenager endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal with police experts working into the night to remove the device, only later establishing it was an elaborate extortion hoax.