Rennie appointed as Wallabies head coach to replace Cheika

SYDNEY (AP) — Dave Rennie has been hired as Australia’s head coach to replace Michael Cheika, who stood down following the Wallabies’ quarterfinal exit last month at the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Australia announced Wednesday that Rennie will continue working with the Glasgow Warriors in Scotland before joining the Wallabies next July in a deal that runs through the 2023 World Cup.

Rennie won back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and ’13 with the Hamilton, New Zealand-based Chiefs, who reached the playoffs in all six seasons he spent there.

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Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said Rennie was “the clear standout candidate for the job.” Rennie becomes the second non-Australian appointed as the Wallabies’ head coach following New Zealander Robbie Deans, who had the job from 2008-13.

“I’ve been coaching professionally for over 20 years and wherever I’ve gone, I’ve immersed myself in the community and culture. I believe I can make a difference here,” Rennie said in a statement. “There are some outstanding young men coming through the system. I want to create a strong connection with the Super Rugby and national age grade coaches and help them achieve their goals, which will benefit the Wallabies in time.”

Before joining the Chiefs, Rennie guided Wellington in 2000 to its first ITM Cup title in 14 years, and later steered New Zealand Under-20s to three consecutive world titles. He moved to Glasgow in 2017.

Cheika guided Australia to the World Cup final in 2015, when he was voted international coach of the year, but his success rate slipped in the following four years and he opted not to seek a contract renewal after the Wallabies’ convincing loss to England in the quarterfinals in Japan last month.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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