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'I'm disappointed': Rennie releases first statement after Wallabies axing

By Finn Morton
(Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has expressed how “disappointed” he is, following Rugby Australia’s staggering decision to axe him ahead of this year’s World Cup.

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Rugby Australia confirmed on Monday morning that Rennie had been fired from his position as the head coach of the men’s national team, just eight months out from the World Cup.

The Wallabies are coming off a disastrous campaign, which saw them win just five of their 14 test matches in 2022.

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While an incredible comeback win over Wales saved the Wallabies from their worst season since 1958, the writing was already on the wall for Rennie.

The New Zealand-born coach, who won 38 per cent of his test matches with the Wallabies, released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank all of those who have reached out to Steph and I over the past 48 hours or so,” Rennie said.

“The support has been immense and much appreciated from the more than 500 messages I’ve received from current and former players, coaches, administrators and friends both here and abroad.

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“I’ve loved my time with the team. They’re outstanding young men who are keen to learn and prepared to work hard.

“The staff I worked with during my time with the Wallabies are some of the best in the world and they played a massive role in creating a quality environment and developing the depth of the playing group.

“I’d like to particularly thank those in the Australian Rugby community for their support of the team over the past three years and for all the words of encouragement when we have crossed paths in schools, on the training field or in airports around the country.”

The stunning decision to axe Rennie surprised many around the rugby world, considering he’d recently coached his first Wallabies squad of the year at a training camp on the Gold Coast.

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With the World Cup nigh on the horizon, it seemed like Rennie was going to be the best person to lead the Wallabies’ charge in France.

But rumours have been rife over Rennie’s future, following the RFU’s sensational decision to fire Eddie Jones last month.

The World Cup winner, who coached the last time they won the Bledisloe Cup, was confirmed as Rennie’s replacement earlier this week as well.

“I’m disappointed I would’ve be able to see out my contract in the way I agreed to back in 2019 but leave knowing I had the full sport of the playing group and the staff,” he added.

“I certainly felt we have made massive shifts over the past three years both on and off the field, which is off the back of a hell of a lot of hard work put in by good people.

“I wish Eddie, the staff and the team all the best in what’s a massive year, with the Rugby World Cup less than nine months away.”

Super coach Eddie Jones has signed a five year deal with Rugby Australia, which will see him coach the Wallabies at the next two World Cups.

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