The Wallabies got their man!
ARU CEO Raelene Castle and Director of Rugby Scott Johnson proudly announced this week the appointment of Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach. In a coup for Australian Rugby, the 56-year-old accepted the role rather than be considered for the vacant All Blacks position.
A centre in his playing days, Rennie played at Wellington in the NPC and represented the Cook Islands at International level before injury brought a premature end to his career at 27. Moving into coaching he has been a winner at a number of levels, claiming an NPC title with Wellington, three junior World Cups with New Zealand and two Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs.
He will take over the role upon completing his contract in Europe as head coach of Glasgow Warriors. It is in this role that he developed a strong working relationship with then Performance Manager of Scottish Rugby Scott Johnson who he will report to in his role as ARU Director of Rugby. It will be a welcome change for Johnson who it is said to have had a volatile relationship with former coach Michael Cheika.
Rennie has spoken this week about his excitement for the role having likened the current state of the playing group to that he encountered upon taking over the role at the Chiefs. Enthusiastic to uncover young Australian talent, he is looking to quickly turn around the on-field results committing to not allow his team to use the rebuilding process as an excuse for not winning.
Strong on culture and playing an exciting brand of Rugby, Rennie will have the perfect opportunity to put his fingerprints on the group given the departures of a number of experienced players post the 2019 World Cup. He won’t have to wait long to test out his changes with the World Champion Springboks and the All Blacks waiting for his team in the 2020 Rugby Championship. With Wallabies fans impatient for success, he will be hoping history repeats itself after claiming Super Rugby success in his first season in charge at the Chiefs.
Given his track record you wouldn’t bet against him.