RUGBY Australia have confirmed New Zealander Dave Rennie will take over as head coach of the Wallabies through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Rennie will take over on a three-and-a-half year deal once his current contract with Scottish side Glasgow comes to an end in June.
The former Cheifs coach had long been considered a front runner to take over from Michael Cheika, even before he resigned last month.
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In a statement on Wednesday morning, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said the appointment was a major coup for Australia.
“Dave Rennie was the clear standout candidate for the job, and we’re thrilled to have secured his services,” Castle said.
“Dave’s coaching philosophy focuses equally on football and team culture, the key pillars to building sustainable success in any team.
“He has a proven track record in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
“Given incumbent head coach, Michael Cheika had indicated in early 2019 the possibility that he would not seek re-appointment for the role, we needed to identify a list of candidates that would be available to us, and suitable to work within our new High Performance framework.
“This search has been ongoing for the past six months.
“When Michael then confirmed he would not seek re-appointment following our Rugby World Cup exit, we moved to appoint our preferred candidate.
“I have had extensive conversations with Dave, and he was interviewed by Rugby Australia Chairman, Cameron Clyne and fellow Board Directors and former Wallabies, Brett Robinson and Phil Waugh before being appointed to the role.”
“It was important to Dave to see out his contract with Glasgow and he will commence with the Wallabies at the completion of the Pro 14 season,” Castle 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
“Dave and Scott worked closely together during their time in Scotland and will join forces once again to implement Rugby Australia’s National High Performance Plan.
“With Dave as Head Coach, and Scott managing our off-field program, the Wallabies have the right structure in place to build for the next era of sustained success.”
Rennie said he felt he could really “make a difference” in Australia.
“My wife, Steph and I have spent the past few months considering our future and we’re really excited about our decision,” he said in a statement.
“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.
“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.
“When I met Raelene Castle, I was really impressed with her plans for the future of Australian Rugby and I’m keen to be part of that,” Rennie said.
Hear from Dave Rennie after he was unveiled as the new @Wallabies coach.
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) November 19, 2019