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World Rugby statement: Wallabies boss Rennie apologises for rant

By Ian Cameron
Dave Rennie /Getty

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Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has back tracked on his weekend rant, apologising for comments he made in the aftermath of his Australia’s loss to Wales last weekend.

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Rennie uncharacteristically blasted officials after what he felt were erroneous calls that cost his side the win and left the Wallabies with three losses from three in the Autumn Nations Series. He referred to the refereeing as “horrendous”.

“I felt it as important I spoke my mind – I’ve been a professional coach for over 20 years and I’ve never gone to the media and had a crack at the referee or referee group, but I felt I had to tonight,” he said after the game. “How do I support my team – by biting my lip again, and us getting apologies during the week? It doesn’t change the result. We deserved better.”

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“Kurtley Beale got sin-binned for slapping the ball down; they do the same thing, it clearly goes forward and they get seven points out of us.”

World Rugby has now confirmed that it has issued a written warning to Rugby Australia and Rugby Australia’s men’s 15s head coach Dave Rennie for comments made immediately after Australia’s final Autumn Nations Series match against Wales in Cardiff on 20 November.

A statement reads: “Match officials are the backbone of the sport, and without them there is no game. World Rugby condemns any public criticism of their selection, performance or integrity which undermines or threatens their role, the trust-based coach-officials feedback process, and more importantly, the values that are at the heart of the sport and must be upheld.”

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Rennie and Rugby Australia have issued the following statement: “Dave Rennie wishes to apologise to the match officials and to World Rugby for the choice of language used in post-match media commitments following the Wallabies Test match against Wales in Cardiff.

“The choice of language and its timing did not meet the standards required from a coach or official in upholding Rugby’s core values of discipline, integrity and respect.

“Rugby Australia and Dave Rennie accept the formal warning issued by World Rugby.”

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World Rugby have said that the ‘prompt, proactive and meaningful apology’ by Rennie and Rugby Australia ‘is welcomed.’

“Rugby is a sport that operates on trust and respect, and recent events have unfortunately placed the confidential, trust-based coach-match officials communication and feedback process under pressure.”

“World Rugby, with the full support of its Executive Committee and the wider game, is fully committed to reinforcing an environment that supports and protects match officials, while providing an appropriate feedback process. To that end, a review of the process is already underway, consulting with match officials, coaches and unions. In addition, the protocols and behaviours relating to team support staff, including water carriers, will be reviewed at the same time,” they concluded.

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