RICHIE McCaw believes Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is a top contender to replace Steve Hansen after the rugby World Cup.
Previously it was thought’s that Schmidt’s long stint away from New Zealand could count against him.
But McCaw believes such considerations shouldn’t come into it and the door should be open for the likes of Schmidt and Vern Cotter after his success with Scotland.
He said: “We're pretty lucky that there are guys coaching Super Rugby that will put their name in the hat - and they could very well be the best option, too.
"But they'd be silly not to look at people like a Joe Schmidt or a Vern Cotter - those guys that haven't been coaching in New Zealand but are the right man."
"They want the best that they can get," said McCaw. "So I don't see that being a stopper at all - but it won't be just a given, either.
There are a number of strong contenders from home-based coaches and McCaw name checked Jon Plumtree, who was forwards coach in the Ireland set up back in 2013, and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.
Current Japan coach Jamie Joseph will also come into the reckoning.
“I think the NZRU has been great in the last few years as being pretty pragmatic around wanting what’s best for the job,” said McCaw.
“If you have the best coach available who wants to come back and he’s motivated to coach the All Blacks and he’s the right man for the job, well then you would have to weigh all those things up.”