England attack coach set to join Wallabies?

David Skippers

England attack coach Scott Wisemantel appears set to join the Wallabies coaching staff under Dave Rennie after Eddie Jones confirmed he would leave his England role.

Wisemantel, a former Wallabies and Waratahs assistant coach, has been on Jones’ team for two years and helped England make the Rugby World Cup final earlier this month.

But accompanying talk that Rennie would take over as Wallabies coach over the past couple of months there has been strong speculation Wisemantel would be one of his assistant coaches.

Rugby Australia’s official website said Wallabies director of rugby Scott Johnson and Rennie both confirmed Wisemantel was on the wish-list last week, along with Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor, who is also an Aussie.

Despite wanting him to stay on, Jones confirmed on Tuesday that Wisemantel would be departing. It’s not known if that will be before the Six Nations or after the tournament.

“Scott’s contract finished at the end of the World Cup and we had some discussions but he has decided to move on,” said Jones.

“Whatever role he takes on next I know he will do an outstanding job because he was fantastic for us. We will miss him but we wish him all the best, and his family.”

Johnson all-but confirmed the imminent move home for Wisemantel last week when announcing Rennie’s recruitment.

“Everyone knows he’s (Wisemantel) a good friend of mine, he’s had success where he’s gone, he’ll be a welcome addition,” said Johnson.

“(Taylor) – good mate of mine, worked with him, good skills, he’s certainly on the list, both are.

“We haven’t put a deadline on it but we’re going through the process.

“We’ve just concluded this one and we’ve spoken about the options that are available. We’d like to see that it moves quite quickly now.

“At least we can tell people who they’re going to be reporting to, that’s a big part of the process.

“There’ll be a couple of sleepless nights and a lot of phone calls over the next couple of weeks.”

Appreciative of the issues some have with his nationality, Rennie said it was important to have an all-Australian staff and to help develop coaching talent.

“Obviously I’ve been doing a lot of the work around (hiring assistant coaches), I’ve been talking a lot to (Rugby Australia director of rugby) Scott Johnson, there’s been a review process happening and there’s going to be a little bit of change there but in that group we need massive work ethic, we need innovation, we need people who are going to roll their sleeves up and so on,” he said.

“I want a group that will challenge each other, challenge me to get the best out of our players. So, getting the right people in place is paramount initially and obviously, the relationship stuff – Super Rugby teams are crucially important.

“I’ve always surrounded myself with people who will challenge. I think we’ve got to have that in our environment whether it’s, we’re certainly going to poke players in the chest and we expect the same back and so I don’t want yes men in our group.

“That’s important, we’ve got to have a mind of developing coaches and creating opportunities and so on.

“We’ve certainly got some names that will be clarified over the coming weeks.”