Sport Union Kiwi Dave Rennie named as Wallabies new coach
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Kiwi Dave Rennie named as Wallabies new coach

Michael Cheika's replacement as Wallabies coach has been found, with Kiwi Dave Rennie signing on to take up the position. Photo: Getty
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New Zealander Dave Rennie will be the new coach of Australia’s national rugby union team, having signed a three-and-a-half year deal through till the end of the 2023 World Cup.

Rennie replaces Michael Cheika, who quit following Australia’s World Cup quarter-final exit.

“This is a massive coup for Australian rugby, Dave Rennie was the clear standout candidate for the job, and we’re thrilled to have secured his services,” Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said on Wednesday.

Currently in charge of Glasgow Warriors in Scotland, 55-year-old Rennie coached New Zealand’s Chiefs to Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013.

Rennie becomes the Wallabies’ second non-Australian coach, following countryman Robbie Deans who led the side from 2008 to 2013.

“I’ve been coaching professionally for over 20 years and wherever I’ve gone, I’ve immersed myself in the community and culture. I believe I can make a difference here,” Rennie said on Wednesday.

“There are some outstanding young men coming through the schools system.

“I want to create a strong connection with the Super Rugby and national age grade coaches and help them achieve their goals, which will benefit the Wallabies in time.”

Because of his commitments with Glasgow in the professional Pro14 competition, Rennie will not be able to take up his post with the Wallabies until July.

He had long been considered the frontrunner for the job after Cheika stepped down following Australia’s disappointing World Cup exit in October.

However, earlier in November Rennie revealed New Zealand Rugby was considering him as the next All Blacks coach. Current coach Steve Hansen also stepped down after the rugby World Cup.

“Obviously it’s flattering, it’s humbling. They’ve [New Zealand] always been such a great side,” he told STV news in Scotland.

On Wednesday, Glasgow Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys said Rennie had made a big impact at the club.

“When he leaves at the end of the season, he’ll go with our sincere gratitude and best wishes,” he said.

“Before then, we know he will want nothing more than to leave our club on a high achieving more success with Glasgow Warriors in the current season.”

Ms Castle said Rennie had a proven track record in the both hemispheres.

“Dave’s coaching philosophy focuses equally on football and team culture, the key pillars to building sustainable success in any team,” she said.

“Between now and June, the Wallabies assistant coaches and director of rugby Scott Johnson will take the lead in working with the players under Dave’s guidance and direction.”

-with AAP

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