Like success-starved Australian fans, new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is demanding excellence and immediate results when he takes the reins next year.
Rejecting notions of a rebuild following a post-World Cup exodus of talent, Rennie has already forecast a “no excuses” policy as he bids to revive the Wallabies’ flagging fortunes.
Former Wallabies coach John Connolly and two-time World Cup winner Tim Horan have called on fans to give the New Zealander time to mould what shapes as a new-look team in 2020.
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But Rennie is having none of it.
“I think the Australian public expect the results and probably expect them immediately and I don’t want to give the guys any excuses that we’re building and all that sort of stuff,” the two-time Super Rugby-winning mentor said on Thursday.
“So the expectation is they’re going to work really hard and we’re going out to win footy.
“I feel if you use excuses you give players an out to maybe underperform.”
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But Rennie is unconcerned.
“That excites me, to be honest,” he said.
“When I went to the Chiefs in 2012 there was a heap of very experienced players leaving for offshore.
“That actually encouraged me to apply for the job because I thought it was going to be easier to change the culture with a chance to bring in some fresh blood.”
It remains to be seen whether the likes of Foley, Genia and Kepu – who all meet the 60-test eligibility criteria – are picked for the Wallabies again with the new coach preferring his test aspirants playing in Australia.
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“The advantage of having guys playing Super Rugby means that we’ve got access to them, we’ve got an influence,” Rennie said.
“And players from overseas – maybe it works alright in a World Cup year – but it’s good to have them in the set-up.
“For example, if we’re looking at a prop who is playing in France and we want him to be athletic and skilful because of the game we want to play, as well as scrum well, his French club doesn’t care whether he can catch and pass.
“They just want him to scrummage. Maybe he’s not conditioned well and you’ve got to get him back a week earlier, which is difficult.”
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