Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says he is still committed to the team despite the controversial exit of Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
Castle played a major role in recruiting Rennie to replace Michael Cheika after the Wallabies’ early exit at the 2019 World Cup. However, she quit the governing body last week after a sustained campaign from her critics.
Rennie told reporters in Britain that while he was ‘gutted’ at Castle’s departure it wouldn’t stop him from taking over the Wallabies reins when he finishes with the Glasgow Warriors.
‘She’s a big part of the reason I decided to sign with Australia,’ Rennie admitted. ‘I was really impressed with her. She had a real clear plan of what the next few years would look like, so I’m really disappointed.
‘But she exited with real dignity and class and the first thing she said to me was she still wants me to go to Australia.’
Rennie – who led that Chiefs to back-to-back Vodacom Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013 before moving to Europe – said he had already spoken with RA about its plans for the post-Castle era.
‘I am still very committed and we have been doing a lot of work in and around preparation for when the new season comes around,’ he said.
However, when the New Zealander takes over and what the calendar would look like is still much unclear.
Rennie was originally due to start with the Wallabies when his contract with the Warriors ended at the end of June, but the PRO14 remains suspended amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also highly unlikely that the Wallabies’ Test series against Ireland will go ahead in June as planned due to restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.
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