New Zealand Rugby has released a statement on the appointment of Dave Rennie as the new Wallabies head coach.
The New Zealand-born Rennie was among a handful of favourites to be in the running for the All Blacks job after the incumbent Steve Hansen stepped down from the position following the recent World Cup campaign in Japan.
However, despite being one of 26 coaches to be invited to apply to become Hansen’s replacement, Rennie spurned the chance to push for New Zealand’s top job, instead choosing to become Michael Cheika’s successor at the Wallabies on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
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In doing so, the 55-year-old joins the likes of Jamie Joseph, Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt in turning down the chance to coach the three-time world champions, effectively making it a two-horse race between All Blacks assistant Ian Foster and Crusaders boss Scott Robertson for the vacant All Blacks head coach position.
Following his announcement as the Australian boss on Wednesday, Rennie revealed to rugby.com.au that NZR’s invitation to apply for the All Blacks role came too late in his decision-making process after having earlier been approached by Rugby Australia.
“I’m a proud Kiwi but the big thing is I’ve been talking to Australia for a lot of months and the All Blacks interest came in late in the piece and by that stage, we’d done a lot of homework, we were really excited about the opportunity to go to Australia and that ended up being an easy decision,” he said.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 20, 2019
In response, NZR have issued a press release regarding RA’s acquisition of the Glasgow Warriors coach to congratulate the former Super Rugby, NPC and U20 World Championship title-winner.
“We have known for some time that Dave was in talks with Rugby Australia, so we have been clear about his position regarding the All Blacks head coach position,” NZR chairman Brent Impey said.
“We congratulate Dave on his appointment and wish him the best. We certainly look forward to hosting him as the head coach of the visiting team during the Rugby Championship.”
NZR released a similar statement about the appointment of Joseph as Japan head coach earlier this week in a deal which will see the ex-Highlanders boss lead the Brave Blossoms into the 2023 World Cup in France.
The next All Blacks head coach is expected to be announced in early December.
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