Dave Rennie quits working with Eddie Jones in Australian rugby, Scott Wisemantel leaves, Taniela Tupou, high performance review

Dave Rennie quits working with Eddie Jones in Australian rugby, Scott Wisemantel leaves, Taniela Tupou, high performance review

Amidst the board buzz, reviewing 2022, and preparing for the future, Dave Rennie says his full attention is on the World Cup.

The Wallabies’ World Cup preparations continued on Monday as Rennie’s national team, including Australia’s top 44 talents, gathered on the Gold Coast for their first training camp of the year.

After a fascinating period of festivity dominated by Eddie Jones’s dismissal in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the focus has shifted sharply to the national team, Scott Wisemantel’s replacement, the potential of an independent selector, and Rennie’s exit strategy. Wallabies were collected in southeast Queensland.

The return of players to the Wallabies has come as Australia’s franchises continue to move forward towards the start of next month’s Super Rugby Pacific competition.

This means Super Rugby franchises will have a little more than a month for players to get used to the playing patterns before returning to the questline.

But unlike the sweet comfort of battling each other, unlike the past two years, they’ll have to sprint to the ground with their trans-Tasman rivals to save them from the odds.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie. (Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Even more oppressive was Rennie’s reaction to the revelation last week that the team’s most experienced World Cup coach, Wisemantel, resigned less than nine months before the World Cup.

Rennie said it was «hard to replace» for Wisemantel, who is also one of the side’s selectors, who offers more than just practice pitch tips for her role, which extends to the infectious energy she delivers.

“Yes, a big disappointment. He’s a great coach and a great guy,” Rennie said.

«It’s hard to change that kind of experience, but we understand that he has to make a promise to his family and it’s the right decision for him. So yes, it’s disappointing, it’s hard to change. But we’re going to be working on a process over the next few weeks.»

Rennie said the Wallabies could look inside to replace the assistant coach who had been Jones’ assistant in their last two World Cup campaigns.

«It’s not easy to replace someone with Wisey quality because it’s not just his rugby knowledge. He brings tremendous energy, his presentation skills are outstanding, he’s one of our selectors, so it’s hard to replace like with like, so we can mix up the deck a bit with our squad,» he said.

«Obviously we’ve been going through this for the past three weeks. We just have to make sure it fits.

Wallabies offensive coach Scott Wisemantel talks to Dave Rennie. (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“It wouldn’t be good to bring in someone who might want to change everything that’s been built on. We want to change things up, but we have a group of guys that are starting to understand how we want to play, so we’re going to make sure whoever we bring in can really fit the mold.»

Could it be Jones? No, according to Rennie.

The fourth-year Wallabies coach said he doesn’t expect Jones to join Rugby Australia as rugby director ahead of the World Cup, as his future will be dark by the end of the month.

«It won’t be before the World Cup,» Rennie said.

«Look, there’s been a lot of speculation about a lot of other things, but my focus is this group and the World Cup, and I think everything beyond that will become clear in the next few months.

“We didn’t have any discussion about it. There are no plans to make any changes to the coaching group at this stage. And I didn’t speak [chairman] hammock [McLennan] and I didn’t speak [chief executive] Andy [Marinos], so my assumption is that we will continue. What happens after 23 is a different matter.»

Rennie is expected to travel to Japan after the World Cup, and sources say he is ready to join Kobe in the 2024 season.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: England coach Eddie Jones shakes hands with Nic White of the Wallabies during the warm-up before one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones shakes hands with Nic White. (Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

EXCLUSIVE: Rennie starts his job in Japan in 2024

The New Zealand-born coach confirmed that he has not signed a contract with Kobe, adding that his future will become clear in the coming months.

«All I’m going to say is I didn’t sign Kobe,» he said. And as I said before, my focus is entirely here. We spent most of December doing it back. [the] review, World Cup planning.

“I had to play some golf with one of my sons who came in for Christmas at Sanctuary Cove and that was great, and then from last week we went back to the rescheduling and the details, so my view is that that’s the focus. What happens beyond 23 is probably in the next few months. It will become a little clearer.»

Rennie said the investigation into the 2022 season, which saw an unprecedented 51 players use injuries over the year, has been completed, but has chosen to keep its findings private because Rugby Australia’s board has not yet read it.

The former Super Rugby award-winning coach said the review had a lot of «positives» and «a handful of recommendations» in it.

“There are not many surprises [in the review] on our part,” said Rennie.

«There are a few things we do know. But it’s good to clarify, and as I mentioned some good advice. But also to highlight what the group does really well, which is important so we can build confidence as we head into a big year.»

Following the Wallabies’ historic defeat to Italy, Rugby Australia sources said they would strongly consider adding an independent selector to the mix.

It turns out that RA evaluated several candidates, but couldn’t find anyone who had a strong understanding of the game and could take on the workload of trolling game after game.

Board members Phil Waugh and Daniel Herbert are believed to have been asked if they were interested, but former Wallaby neither was willing.

“We had an independent selector with Scott Johnson for the first few years, so this is nothing new to us,” Rennie said. «Just finding the right person.

«To be selective you have to watch a lot of games, you have to understand what is coming from the system, and then the benefit of Johnno was that he came to camp, watched all the training and played with the boys most of the time.» they will get opportunities depending on how well they have been trained during the previous two or three weeks, so we are working on that process.

“We’re not looking for an independent to come and change things and have a big say in who we choose, unless they’re in the mix and they have a clearer understanding of the quality of the incoming players. ”

(Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Rennie says the Wallabies took over Taniela Tupou’s recovery.

The no-contract tight-headed prop suffered a ruptured Achilles injury during a 13-10 loss to Ireland in November. The devastating injury left Tupou out of this year’s Super Rugby campaign.

Rennie added the possibility of playing club rugby in Brisbane, saying they are hopeful the Wallabies will be able to get some game time throughout the year.

“He is unlikely to play Super Rugby, so the plan is to try and find a footing that takes him to the Rugby Championship,” Rennie said.

«We’ll take care of him. He’ll still have a role to play in the Reds, but not on the playing field.

“First street [to return] I guess it’s club rugby that will get the Brothers excited. And then Australia A, we potentially plan to play a few games with them.

«We’re just looking for a chance to keep up with him, so we’ll see how he progresses and hopefully he gets better a little quicker and gets a chance to play on the back end of the Super.»

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