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RA insists it 'always wants Australian talent' when it comes to filling its big coaching posts

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Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle insists her organisation is committed to developing and promoting local coaches despite suggestions three of the nation’s plum posts could next year be occupied by New Zealanders.


Brad Thorn will coach Queensland for a third straight Super Rugby campaign, media speculation suggests fellow Dave Rennie and Rob Penney are favoured to take over at Wallabies and Waratahs respectively.

Daryl Gibson, a former All Black, resigned after four years as the Waratahs coach to open up a vacancy while Wallabies incumbent Michael Cheika has already indicated he will leave if Australia doesn’t win the World Cup in Japan.

The Wallabies have already had one New Zealand-born coach in Robbie Deans, who took the side to No2 in the world rankings during his tenure between 2008-13.

Castle said there wouldn’t be discussions concerning the Wallabies top job until after the World Cup final on November 2, but admitted more had to be done to foster Australian-born coaching talent.

“I think you always want Australian talent, there’s no doubt,” Castle said. “Rugby Australia has held its hand up and said it hasn’t done enough in the past to focus on developing young Australian coaches to make sure they can come through.


“That’s the work that we’re doing to make sure that we have identified that talent. We’re putting the support networks around them and next time those contracts roll through we’ll have Australian coaches in those roles.”

Castle felt Australia’s record-breaking 47-26 win over New Zealand in Perth had generated more optimism about the Wallabies’ World Cup prospects. They were soundly beaten 36-0 in the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland a week later, but Castle felt it was not beyond Australia to emulate their 2015 run to the final.

“Every Wallaby fan and every sports fan in Australia now believes the Wallabies can do really well at the World Cup,” Castle said. “If we don’t have that win in Perth, people aren’t saying those things.”


Castle was speaking at the launch of the 2019 NRC competition, ahead of this weekend’s opening round. Some matches will kick off at midday to avoid clashing with afternoon games at the World Cup.

Innovations to be trialled in this year’s competition include the defending team being rewarded with a line drop-out rather than the attacking side setting a five-metre scrum when a player is ruled held up over the try line.


WATCH: Wallaby captain Michael Hooper talks to the media at Australia’s World Cup squad announcement

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