Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie is looking towards a more “settled” squad in 2022 after not being shy to experiment with selection in the first two years of his tenure.
The New Zealand-born coach has been wide-ranging with his selection experimentation, blooding young players whilst also recalling older players such as Quade Cooper back into the fold.
Looking towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup
Whilst the experimentation has not given the best results, with Australia winning only eight of 20 Tests under Rennie. It has allowed the coach to gain a more comprehensive understanding of who he wants in his squad at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
The majority of Rennie’s Tests in charge came last year and included two impressive wins over the Springboks but ended with three losses on the bounce against Scotland, England and Wales in the Autumn Nations Series.
“We learnt a lot last year,” Rennie told NCA Newswire.
“We had a tough international season and we’ve got another one (in 2022), which is awesome.”
Rennie seems to have found the blend of players he would like to use in the squad.
“I’d expect us to have a more settled look around the squad because we’ve got a lot of knowledge and we’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys we’re using,” he said.
“What we’ve been doing over the last couple of years is picking some young men who hopefully by the time they go to a World Cup have got 40 Test caps under them, or maybe more.”
However, Rennie was quick to note that the door is always open to form players if they decide to put their hands up.
“The door’s always open. If someone emerges from left field, they’ll be rewarded,” he said.
“We’re certainly not going to close the door on anyone jumping out of the pack.”
He also threw in a reminder against complacency within the current squad.
“You’ve got to earn the right to play as well,” added Rennie.
“Just because you’ve been around a long time doesn’t guarantee you being part of a World Cup.”