Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie has revealed he’s being considered by New Zealand Rugby to become the next All Blacks coach.
Rennie — who has made a commitment to see out the remainder of his contract at Scotstoun until the summer — has already been identified by Rugby Australia (RA) as a potential successor to Michael Cheika, who quit following the Wallabies’ exit from the World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
There have been strong rumblings Rennie is the frontrunner to take Cheika’s job but New Zealand may thwart that plan.
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Rennie has never coached at an international level, but led the Chiefs to two Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013, and has been coaching in Scotland since 2017.
Last month reports claimed Rugby Australia had informed its staff that Rennie would take the job.
In an interview with STV, 55-year-old Rennie revealed he had been sounded out for the post by New Zealand Rugby.
“Obviously it’s flattering, it’s humbling. They’ve (New Zealand) always been such a great side,” he told STV news in Scotland.
“I guess I haven’t had a lot of time to dwell on that because I’m totally focused on what I’m doing here.
“They’ve probably made contact with a number of Kiwis who are coaching over this way about interest for the role.
“They will have a process where they interview then make an appointment in the new year.”
When asked about interest from Rugby Australia as well as New Zealand, Rennie said: “There’s going to be speculation all the time when new jobs are up for grabs.
“They are naming a number of people, I guess, who are potential replacements for both of those jobs. I guess time will tell.”
Rennie, who succeeded Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend at Warriors in 2017, has seen his stock rise after guiding the club to the PRO 14 final, as well as the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup, last season.
RUGBY AUSTRALIA URGED TO GO AFTER JONES
While Rennie has been the name on everyone’s lips, Rugby Australia (RA) is facing fresh calls to spend up and bring back Eddie Jones after the Australian produced another Rugby World Cup coaching masterpiece.
While Rennie has been tipped to succeed Cheika, England’s stunning 19-7 win over New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup semi-final has sent Jones’ stocks skyrocketing.
Jones was being hailed as a coaching genius after his brutally-efficient England outfit outmuscled and humbled the world No. 1 All Blacks in Yokohama last weekend.
The upset win comes four years after Jones masterminded Japan’s stunning 34-32 World Cup pool game win over South Africa, dubbed the “Miracle of Brighton”. Jones was consultant for South Africa when the Springboks won the World Cup for the second time in 2007.
He also led the Wallabies to the 2003 final in Sydney, somewhat against the odds by ousting the All Blacks in the semi-finals.
Former Wallabies forward turned rugby analyst Stephen Hoiles said RA should make every effort to sign Jones.
“If we’re serious about that, if Australian rugby want to find the right man for the job, and it’s everyone’s preference in Australia that that is an Australian, those phone calls have to be made,” Hoiles told Fox Sports.
“Absolutely, whether he’s on contract or not, that’s a conversation for after the World Cup final.
“But Australian rugby, to go through a genuine review, you’ve got to cast the net wide and find the best in the world.
“I’d argue there’s not anyone better than him.”
Jones he may simply be the best in what is a limited field of great international coaches and cost may be the biggest issue, particularly as RA would probably have to buy out his England contract.
And if he goes on to win the World Cup it may take more than RA could pay to prise him away from a title defence with England, where he has enormous player and financial resources to draw on.
This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission