Wellington boy is plotting All Black downfall
REACTION: Dave Rennie said Friday he had no regrets about becoming Wallabies coach and plotting the downfall of his native New Zealand.
Rennie was named in the Wallabies’ role last November, after turning down a late invitation to apply for the vacant All Blacks job – eventually filled by Ian Foster.
Almost a year later, he will take charge of his first Test match when the Wallabies face the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Cup match on Sunday in Wellington, Rennie’s hometown.
“Obviously I’m a Wellington boy, so to play the first Test in Wellington, there’s a bit of irony there,” he told reporters.
“Look, I’m really comfortable with the decision I’ve made. I’m loving working with this group.”
Rennie, who has won club rugby titles in both the southern and northern hemispheres, said he was looking forward to finally coaching at Test level.
“We’re all excited, I’m going to have all my family there, that’s going to make it pretty special,” he said.
The Test on Sunday will also be Foster’s first in charge but Rennie played down any personal rivalry between the pair.
“I know Fozzie pretty well, but in the end it’s not really about us, it’s about the team and that’s been my focus,” he said.
“No doubt we’ll catch up and have a beer in Auckland.”
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Foster, who was promoted from within the All Blacks’ coaching structure after serving as Steve Hansen’s assistant, said he was familiar with the Test environment.
“It doesn’t feel brand new for me. I feel like I’ve walked this journey for the last eight years a little bit,” he said.
“I know it’s in a different role but a Test match is a Test match.
“I love my past role and this one’s obviously different and a bit more resting on the shoulders but I always felt accountable, so nothing’s changed from that side.”