16 Jan 2023

Dave Rennie sacked as Wallabies coach, Eddie Jones to take over

12:26 pm on 16 January 2023
A dejected looking Dave Rennie at the post-match press conference. Bledisloe Cup rugby union test match. Australia Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks. ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. 31st Oct 2020.

Dave Rennie. Photo: ©PHOTOSPORT 2020

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has been sacked with immediate effect and former England boss Eddie Jones is set to lead the side at this year's World Cup in France.

New Zealander Rennie, former coach of Super Rugby side the Chiefs, was contracted until the end of this year's World Cup in France but has a winning record of only 38 percent since taking over after the last edition.

Jones, who led the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final in his previous stint as Australia coach, was sacked by England in December.

He will be head coach of the Wallabies, as well as overseeing the Wallaroos, on a long-term deal until 2027.

Jones previously coached the Wallabies from 2001 to 2005, including taking the team to the Rugby World Cup Final in Sydney in 2003.

As the head coach of England, he had the highest winning ratio of any coach to lead that nation at 73 percent.

In addition to his role with the Wallabies, and in a world-first, Jones will also oversee the Wallaroos programme as Rugby Australia pushes forward towards a professional future for the Women's XVs game.

England head coach Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Jones will start with Rugby Australia on 29 January.

Rennie has coached Australia since 2020, and has achieved some notable victories with the Wallabies, including series victories against France and South Africa in 2021.

Rugby Australia (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan said he was thrilled with Jones's appointment.

"It is a major coup for Australian rugby to have the best coach in the world return home to coach the iconic Wallabies and to oversee the Wallaroos program," McLennan said.

"Eddie's deep understanding of our rugby system and knowledge of our player group and pathways will lift the team to the next level," he said.

"Eddie instinctively understands the Australian way of playing rugby - this represents an opportunity to secure a coach of immense expertise and experience at the biggest competitions, and we did not want to miss it."

RA chief executive Andy Marinos said he wished Rennie all the best for the future.

"I would like to thank Dave for his hard work and effort with the Wallabies - we are grateful for all that he has done for Australian Rugby," Marinos said.

"Dave has been instrumental in developing much of the depth that we see in and around the current Wallabies squad; there are a number of players that are genuine World Cup possibilities because of opportunities that Dave has provided," he said.

"The work ethic, the spirit within the group, and the way the team carries itself are all a direct result of Dave's input - he has made a real mark on this group of players."

Jones said he was delighted by the chance to coach his country once again.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to come home to Australia and lead my nation to a Rugby World Cup," Jones said.

"It is going to be an immense period for Australian rugby - as a proud Australian, it is a great honour to be able to come home and lead the national team during these years," he said.

"The Wallabies squad is a really talented group of players with good depth - if we can have everyone fit and healthy going into the World Cup this year, I am confident that we can go to France and break the 24-year drought of winning the Rugby World Cup.

"I saw how gutsy the Wallaroos were in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand last year - it looks like there is a real spirit in that group that will drive the women's programme forward ahead of their next World Cup in 2025.

"I am really looking forward to getting back home and getting stuck in."

-Reuters / RNZ

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.