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Dave Rennie to replace Michael Cheika as Wallabies coach

Super Rugby-winning former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie will replace Michael Cheika as Wallabies boss on three-and-a-half year deal, Rugby Australia has confirmed.

The Kiwi will take on the Australia post after he finishes with Glasgow Warriors. He is yet to make any appointments to his backroom staff, but it is understood there is significant interest within Rugby Australia to bring in Scott Wisemantel, who was part of England's coaching team at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Rennie will take over from Michael Cheika, and is likely to arrive in time for the 2020 July Tests.

"My wife, Steph and I have spent the past few months considering our future and we're really excited about our decision," Rennie said via a press release.

"I've been coaching professionally for over 20 years and wherever I've gone, I've immersed myself in the community and culture. I believe I can make a difference here.

"There are some outstanding young men coming through the schools system. I want to create a strong connection with the Super Rugby and national age grade coaches and help them achieve their goals, which will benefit the Wallabies in time.

"When I met Raelene Castle, I was really impressed with her plans for the future of Australian rugby and I'm keen to be part of that.

"We've loved our time here in Glasgow. The coaching group and management are absolutely world class. The work ethic and passion of the players has been incredible, and we will miss them,"

Rennie had long been touted as Cheika's likely successor and although he was briefly linked with the vacant All Blacks job, the two-time Super Rugby title winner was believed to be well down the pecking order.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle told reporters after the Wallabies' quarterfinal exit at the World Cup the governing body had already been canvassing the market for a replacement for Cheika.

Australia's 40-16 hammering by England ultimately ended Cheika's reign, allowing Rugby Australia to ramp up its pursuit of their "standout" candidate.

"This is a massive coup for Australian rugby, Dave Rennie was the clear standout candidate for the job, and we're thrilled to have secured his services," Castle said.

"Dave's coaching philosophy focuses equally on football and team culture, the key pillars to building sustainable success in any team. He has a proven track record in the northern and southern hemisphere.

"Given incumbent head coach, Michael Cheika had indicated in early 2019 the possibility that he would not seek re-appointment for the role, we needed to identify a list of candidates that would be available to us, and suitable to work within our new High Performance framework. This search has been ongoing for the past six months.

"When Michael then confirmed he would not seek re-appointment following our Rugby World Cup exit, we moved to appoint our preferred candidate."

Rennie coached the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013, driving a culture of discipline and success which saw the Hamilton-based franchise defeat the Sharks and Brumbies in back-to-back deciders.

He headed for Scotland at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season and has since taken Glasgow to the final or the PRO14 and quarterfinals of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Rennie had previously told ESPN he was keen to coach the All Blacks but the emergence of Crusaders boss Scott Robertson alongside proven international coaches Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt, and presence of Ian Foster, meant the former Chiefs coach dropped slightly of the New Zealand radar.

New Zealand Rugby will announce Steve Hansen's replacement as All Blacks coach next month.

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