Scott Wisemantel’s announcement as Wallabies attack coach is expected to be little more than a formality, and it’s now emerged that another one of the men Rugby Australia are eyeing off to work under Dave Rennie, Matt Taylor, is close to joining the new set-up.
Rugby AU director of rugby Scott Johnson admitted last week he was looking at Taylor, as well as Wisemantel, as a potential assistant to bring on for 2020. That’s now looking more and more likely to happen, with reports emerging on Wednesday that the former Queensland defence coach is closing in on a return to Australia as national defence coach.
Taylor has been coaching in Scotland since 2012, with the Glasgow Warriors up until 2017 – when Dave Rennie joined the side as head coach – and the national team as a defence/assistant coach for the entire stint.
Another former Reds assistant, Nick Stiles, is also firmly in the mix to join Rennie’s new staff as forwards coach.
Stiles, who unlike Taylor had a stint as Queensland head coach, appears likely to return home from his current position in charge of the Kintetsu Liners – the Japanese club with the likes of Quade Cooper and Will Genia on their roster.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting Rennie may opt to bring in a fellow New Zealander as forwards coach rather than Stiles, and instead have the Queenslander come back to Australia in a different role.
The Herald is also reporting Chris Webb, who worked with Jamie Joseph in the Japanese high performance unit prior to the recent World Cup, could be a part of the new Wallabies set-up.
With the new faces set to link up with Rennie, Nathan Grey (defence), Shaun Berne (attack/backs) and Simon Raiwalui (forwards) – the Australian assistants in place when Michael Cheika announced his resignation – as well as team manager Pat Molihan, are all headed for the Wallabies exit, although some may remain involved in Australian rugby in different roles.