Rugby Australia have hired Kiwi Dave Rennie as the next coach of the Wallabies to replace Michael Cheika.
The former Chiefs coach – currently with Glasgow Warriors – has opted for the Australia gig over a chance at taking on the All Blacks title.
Now he believes he can turn things around for the declining Wallabies side.
"I believe I can make a difference here," said Rennie today. “I’ve been coaching professionally for over 20 years and wherever I’ve gone, I’ve immersed myself in the community and culture.
“My wife, Steph and I have spent the past few months considering our future and we’re really excited about our decision.
“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.
“We’ve loved our time in Glasgow. The coaching group and management are absolutely world class. The work ethic and passion of the players has been incredible, and we will miss them."
Rennie joined the Chiefs as Head Coach in 2012 and enjoyed instant success winning back-to-back Super Rugby titles in his first two years in charge.
The Hamilton-based side played finals in each of the record six seasons he spent with the Chiefs.
Prior to the Chiefs, Rennie took the Wellington Lions to a first ITM Cup title in 14 years as Head Coach in 2000, and later steered New Zealand Under 20s to three consecutive world titles from 2008 to 2010.
Rennie was named Head Coach of Glasgow Warriors for the 2017/18 season and in his second year he took the Scottish outfit to the Pro 14 Final and the Quarter Finals of the European Champions Cup, the first time the Warriors have made the playoffs in both competitions.
Today RA CEO Raelene Castle hailed the three and a half year deal – through to the 2023 World Cup – as a major landmark.
"This is a massive coup for Australian Rugby," she said. "Dave Rennie was the clear standout candidate for the job, and we’re thrilled to have secured his services.
“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 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.
"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."