Dave Rennie insists he will see out his Glasgow Warriors contract

Head coach says he is "absolutely" interested in Wallabies vacancy but has a job to do at Scotstoun for rest of season

Dave Rennie
Dave Rennie has been the subject of intense media interest since Michael Cheika resigned as Wallabies head coach. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson.

DAVE Rennie has broken his silence on reports linking him with the post of Wallabies head coach to insist that he will honour his Glasgow Warriors contract, which runs until next summer. But, speaking earlier today (Friday), he stated that the position in Australia, vacant since Michael Cheika’s resignation last weekend,  was one  he would “absolutely” be interested in.

The 55-year-old New Zealander was first linked with what was then just a probable vacancy earlier this year, but played down the connection, suggesting that Australia would want someone to come in fairly quickly after the World Cup and pointing out that he was about to commit to the Warriors for a third season. He duly signed a one-year extension to his contract as Glasgow head coach, a position he is now tied to until the middle of 2020.

But, of all the reports  this week that Rennie was the frontrunner to succeed Cheika, none suggested he would have to agree to move sooner rather than later. The fact that the Wallabies do not have another international until the summer of 2020 means they should not rush unduly to appoint a head coach, and the probability now is that Scott Johnson, Australia’s director of rugby, will take charge of the national team until Rennie is free to move. 

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“Probably the easiest way to clarify this is that I know there’s lots of speculation in the media that I’ve already signed and people have been informed and all this sort of stuff,” Rennie said this morning, speaking on the subject for the first time since Cheika’s resignation. “That’s not accurate. I haven’t signed, and I will definitely be here till the end of this season, which is the end of June.”

Asked if the  job would interest him, he continued: “Yeah, I think we’ve discussed this before, so yeah, absolutely. I guess what I’m implying is there’s lots of talk about this and I’m already committed, you know. There’s a lot of speculation, as there has been for months.”

Rennie saw out his contract with the Chiefs in New Zealand before moving to Glasgow around the start of the 2017-18 season, and he appears determined to do the same with the Warriors – insisting that his commitment to last season’s PRO14 runners-up would remain in place even if the SRU and Rugby Australia agreed a severance deal that would see him leave Glasgow early.

Again, you guys are speculating,” he said when asked what he would do in that eventuality. “I’ll just reiterate: regardless of what happens to me beyond this season, I’m here for the full season. It’s important to me. I’m committed to the Warriors and I won’t leave earlier.”

Asked about reports that Scotland’s Australian defence coach Matt Taylor would go with him, Rennie laughed and replied in one word: “Speculation.”

He was equally unforthcoming when asked if he or his agent had already had talks with Rugby Australia. “All I would say to that is that it’s almost like when we sign players,” he insisted. “We don’t discuss anything until there’s an announcement to be made. It’s no different to coaches and me.”

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About Stuart Bathgate 1414 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.