‘Disappointed’ Rennie says he departs knowing Wallabies squad backed him

Sacked Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says he was ousted despite having the support of the playing group, and is disappointed he won’t get to take the team to the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.

Rennie’s four-year contract as Wallabies coach was prematurely terminated this week when Rugby Australia opted to sign Eddie Jones and make a coaching change just nine months out from the World Cup.

Just a week after running the Wallabies’ first camp of the year, Rennie was informed of his fate by CEO Andy Marinos over a Zoom call on Sunday.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Rennie thanked supporters and said he believed the Wallabies had made big strides and developed considerable depth since he took over in 2020.

“I’ve loved my time with the team. They’re outstanding young men who are keen to learn and prepared to work hard,” Rennie said.

“The staff I worked with during my time with the Wallabies are some of the best in the world and they played a massive role in creating a quality environment and developing the depth of the playing group.

Dave Rennie and Eddie Jones.Credit:Getty

“I’d like to particularly thank those in the Australian rugby community for their support of the team over the past three years and for all the words of encouragement when we have crossed paths in schools, on the training field or in airports around the country.”

In explaining the decision to sign Jones, RA chairman Hamish McLennan has said in multiple interviews that Jones’ “steely edge” was required for a Wallabies environment that had gone “soft” over the last few years.

Rennie has declined interview requests since his sacking, and didn’t respond to McLenann’s comments in his statement, which was released by Rugby Australia.

But in a pointed inclusion, Rennie said he left his role while still enjoying the players’ support.

Dave Rennie and Jake Gordon after the Wallabies’ loss to Ireland.Credit:AP

“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to see out my contract in the way I agreed to back in 2019 but leave knowing I had the full support of the playing group and the staff,” Rennie said.

“I certainly felt we have made massive shifts over the past three years both on and off the field, which is off the back of a hell of a lot of hard work put in by good people.

“I wish Eddie, the staff and the team all the best in what’s a massive year, with the Rugby World Cup less than nine months away.”

Rennie thanked all those who had reached out to him and his wife since the news broke.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank all of those who have reached out to Steph and I over the past 48 hours or so,” Rennie said. “The support has been immense and much appreciated from the more than 500 messages I’ve received from current and former players, coaches, administrators and friends both here and abroad.”

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