New look for Rennie’s Chiefs

Date published: December 10 2015

Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie is settling into a new system after a number of changes on and off the field ahead of the new Super Rugby season.

Neil Barnes and Kieran Keane have been added to the team's coaching staff ahead of 2016 to join Rennie and Andrew Strawbridge.

"We've spent a lot of time together in the last few weeks," Rennie told Stuff.

"So it's been great, we've got clarity on our roles, but we've all had input into everything, and challenged each other.

"With Barnesy and KK, they're very experienced coaches, and I really wanted guys who are going to be prepared to challenge, to make our team better and our game better. So their contribution so far has been great."

A four-day camp involving a 90km paddle down the Whanganui River has just been one part of a pre-season schedule designed to bring the group closer together given the number of new players in the squad.

"We've got 15 new boys, so that's quite a lot of change isn't it. And I think 12 of those 15 haven't played Super Rugby. So it's exciting from that point of view, because they're all pretty good footy players," Rennie added.

"They had lots of physical challenges and mental challenges along the way.

"It was a brilliant four days and gave us a chance to learn a lot about those guys and the chance to sit around the fire and talk about being professional athletes and expectations about being a Chief, and so on."