Incoming Australia head coach Dave Rennie has given an insight into how the Wallabies might benefit from the lessons he learnt at the helm of Glasgow Warriors.
The 56-year-old joined Glasgow from Super Rugby side the Chiefs in 2017, eventually guiding the Warriors to the final of last year’s PRO14 competition.
Speaking from a hotel room in Auckland, New Zealand, where he has spent the past two weeks in quarantine, the New Zealander said he drew plenty of lessons from his time at Scotland, which put him “in a better position to coach nationally”.
“Our playing group worked hard, were a really fit side (and had) a real strong community focus. (They were) a really tight group,” Rennie said.
“Managing big numbers. We had 50-odd players and 30-odd staff so it’s a reasonably big crew.
“(Also) the years are long. You roll your way through a year and then all of a sudden you’re back into it. So from a planning (point of view), we’ve got to rotate our players because we had a lot of international boys and they can only play four games in a row.
“You have Six Nations, you’re missing those guys for nine weeks. November you’re missing them for five. So you play a lot of games without your best players. We really drove expectations that whoever wore the jersey’s got to front. And so we had a lot of young men who we brought through and developed quickly and they got opportunities to grow.”
Rennie said coaching in the northern hemisphere ultimately gave him a more well-rounded view of the game.
“I’ve got a much better understanding of the players up there and the type of game that’s played, which will help I reckon when we play in the northern hemisphere,” he said.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says he would be open to the concept of Aussies being Test eligible if playing in Super Rugby for a non-Aussie team, as it's more "apples for apples" than picking players in France/England etc.
— Beth Newman (@bethknewman) June 22, 2020
Rennie officially steps into the position in July amid a turbulent time for Rugby Australia.
Raelene Castle, who appointed Rennie, resigned as chief executive in April after 11 past Wallabies captains joined forces to call for change in the union.
However Rennie was adamant there would be no excuses if the national side failed to pick up some immediate results in his tenure.
“Everyone wants to be successful and success is often based on results,” he said.
“What we know is that we should get to play the All Blacks a number of times this year if nothing else. That’s a great introduction for us.
“It’s a really good gauge for us of where we need to be and I reckon the more times we play the All Blacks the better because we haven’t had a lot of success against them the last 15 or so years. We’ve got to put ourselves under pressure against the best.
“We’re seventh in the world. We need to be better than that. We’ve had a lot of older guys who have left post-World Cup, so there’s genuine opportunities for some young guys to come through and build towards the next World Cup, but ultimately we want results quickly.
“That’s our mindset, we’re not looking for excuses. We need to front from the start.”