Dave Rennie will become the Wallabies’ second head coach in nearly four decades to establish his base of operations outside Sydney after his departure to Queensland on Tuesday. Rennie and his wife Steph took a break after two weeks of strict hotel quarantine.
“I want to make sure that Steph has a lot of support around her. I have a couple of sisters in Queensland, we have a lot of family, a lot of our group of coaches are also there and it makes sense,” Rennie said, adding about his future plans: “I will spend time in Sydney, but I want to make sure that Steph is not alone when I am traveling and that is important. We are going to rent for a while and then shop somewhere between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”
Rennie will join the rest of the Australian coaching staff of Scott Wisemantel, Matt Taylor and Rugby Director Scott Johnson, in the warmer climates of southeast Queensland. Rugby Australia high performance specialist John Pryor is also based there.
It is the second time since Bob Templeton of Queensland trained Australia in the early 1980s that a Wallabie coach decides to live outside of Sydney. John Connolly was the last in 2006 and 2007 and was based on the Sunshine Coast during his two-year term in office. Johnson, then Connolly’s assistant, Michael Foley, and scrum coach Alec Evans, among others, also lived there.
Then all the coaches decided to have their bunker in Sydney. Robbie Deans, the Australian head coach from New Zealand, moved to Sydney from Christchurch. Ewen McKenzie returned to Sydney from Brisbane when he was confirmed as coach of the Wallabies after Deans’ departure.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time away from home,” said Rennie, adding that “half of the year you play international rugby and you travel and in the other half of the year my plan is to go and be in Super Rugby, so I will be there a lot time away from home. “