Rennie named new Wallabies head coach

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Following Michael Cheika's departure after the Rugby World Cup, Rugby Australia has turned to Dave Rennie.
Following Michael Cheika's departure after the Rugby World Cup, Rugby Australia has turned to Dave Rennie.

Dave Rennie will become the Wallabies' new head coach, Rugby Australia has confirmed, though he will not start in the role until July 2020.

Rennie, who will complete his commitments with Glasgow Warriors before taking charge next year, has signed a deal running through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The 55-year-old New Zealander won back-to-back Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs before heading to Europe to continue his coaching career, having previously had a spell in charge of the All Blacks' Under-20 team.

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His appointment ends the search to find a replacement for Michael Cheika, whose tenure came to an end with Australia's quarter-final defeat to England at this year's World Cup in Japan.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle confirmed Rennie was their preferred candidate, while also announcing director of rugby Scott Johnson will take charge of the national team in the short term.

"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," Castle said in a statement.

"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."

Rennie is excited about the opportunity to lead the Wallabies, outlining his intention to create strong links with the nation's Super Rugby franchises, as well as Australia's age-group squads, as they build for the long-term future.

"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," he said.

"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."

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