Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has hinted that he may not stick around with the Australian national side beyond the 2023 World Cup.
The 56-year-old New Zealander, who is yet to take charge of his first game for the Wallabies due to the COVID-19 outbreak, instead believes an Australian should succeed him in once his tenure comes to an end.
Rennie took charge of the Wallabies this month after concluding his time with Scottish PRO14 side Glasgow Warriors, replacing former boss Michael Cheika, who led Australia to a quarter-final exit at last year’s World Cup in Japan.
Becoming just the second Kiwi to take the job after Robbie Deans was signed by Rugby Australia in 2008, Rennie’s appointment comes with the task of re-building the Wallabies after falling to a lowly seventh place on the World Rugby rankings.
The added weight of expectation to end a 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought against the All Blacks and help revive rugby union’s declining status within Australia also loom as prominent aspects on Rennie’s agenda.
While many see the two-time Super Rugby-winning coach as the right man to meet those expectations, the former Chiefs boss suggested he may only have until France 2023 to fulfil those expectations as he remains “uncertain” about extending his current four-year deal.
“I’m not certain,” he told The Australian on Monday when asked if he planned to be around for the 2027 World Cup.
“The ideal scenario is that the next coach is Australian and there needs to be some thought around that. If there is someone ready to go after the  World Cup, that may be in the best interests of Australian rugby.
“You can’t think too far ahead in this game.
“I’m fully committed to the  World Cup but what happens beyond that … there has to be an emphasis around identifying and developing other coaches to coach Australia.”
The Wallabies’ first assignment under the tutelage of Rennie remains unclear as the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively eliminated the international calendar this year.
Hopes remain high, however, for a four-match Bledisloe Cup series against the All Blacks between October and November, while talks are underway for a revised Rugby Championship to take place exclusively in New Zealand at the end of the year.
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