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Why NZ Rugby should 'at least have a conversation' with Dave Rennie

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Broadcaster Scotty Stevenson has called on New Zealand Rugby to “at least have a conversation” with former Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who was axed by Rugby Australia earlier this week.

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Rugby Australia’s stunning decision to part ways with Rennie eight months out from this year’s World Cup in France has drawn mixed reactions around the world.

Some Australian rugby fans – including former player Matt Giteau – have celebrated the decision, and believe incoming Wallabies coach Eddie Jones is the best person to “turn thing around.”

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But some supporters think the 59-year-old has been hard done by, including All Blacks World Cup hero Stephen Donald who believes Rugby Australia “turned” on Rennie.

Rennie came under immense pressure during last year’s Autumn Nations Series, as the Wallabies lost three of their first tests – including a first-ever loss to Italy.

The writing was seemingly already on the wall for the under fire coach.

But the wounded Wallabies showed plenty of character last season, and Rennie has shown in the past that he can coach teams to championship glory.

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Sky Sports commentator Scotty Stevenson believes New Zealand Rugby should consider securing Rennie’s services in some capacity, now that he’s back “on the market.”

“That All Blacks coach has got to have autonomy over whom he wants to work with,” Stevenson said on SENZ Breakfast.

“Unless you’ve got that settled in your head about where you want your head coach to be and you’ve had in-depth conversations with that potential head coach around who his assistants might be, you can’t even begin to start those conversations.

“Again, that’s the matter of timing now for New Zealand Rugby because when a coach like Dave Rennie comes on the market, absolutely you’d be thinking, “Right, what are your intentions here Dave?’

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“If you were smart you’d at least have a conversation, but we know for a fact the last time they advertised the job for All Blacks head coach they didn’t have the conversation with him at all.

“It would take a bit of a backpedal and a U-turn for Dave Rennie to be back in that calculation I think and I would certainly hope that no stone would be left unturned in terms of who the next All Black coach might be.”

While Australia’s loss could hypothetically become New Zealand’s gain, the Wallabies are in good hands following Rennie’s departure.

Former England coach Eddie Jones has signed a five year deal with Rugby Australia, which will include the next two World Cups and the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025.

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