Rugby Australia have announced the appointment of Scott Wisemantel as an assistant coach to new Wallabies boss Dave Rennie.
The 49-year old, who had been widely tipped to join Rennie after leaving his role with England’s national team, has been confirmed as the side’s attack coach.
Having also coached with the Manu Samoa and Japan national teams before linking up with England in their charge to the Rugby World Cup final, Wisemantel said he is excited to return to the Wallabies fold, having been the team’s skills coach between 2004 and 2008. He also worked with the Waratahs as a backs coach before leaving in 2010.
“I’m really looking forward to returning home to Australia after ten years, and for the opportunity to work alongside Dave Rennie,” he said.
“I’ve learned a few things from working with various programs around the world, and it’s given me another perspective on how to view the game as an attack coach.
“Historically, the Wallabies have been innovative in how they play the game and how they attack, so I want to bring that to the table.”
Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson said Rennie himself was particularly keen to get Wisemantel on board.
“Dave [Rennie] has been closely involved in the appointment of Scott, and I know those two guys will complement each other really well,” Johnson said.
“Scott’s return to Australia is a huge coup for the Wallabies. He’s got great experience and has had success with club sides in Europe as well as other international sides, but I also know what he’s like as a person and as a coach, and he will add tremendous value to the group.”
Wisemantel replaces incumbent Shaun Berne, who was hired on a short-term deal before the World Cup by then-coach Michael Cheika and has since returned to the Melbourne Rebels.
The attack coach isn’t the only addition to the Wallabies backroom staff to be announced today, with Chris Webb joining as general manager, and Dean Benton given a permanent position as Rugby AU head of athletic performance.
Much like Wisemantel, bringing Webb back into the Australian fold is a feather in Rugby AU’s cap. The Australian was assistant team manager under John Connolly between 2005-2007, and more recently worked with Jamie Joseph as the high performance advisor for the Japanese national team, as well as with the Sunwolves in Super Rugby.
“I have known Chris Webb for many years and have worked with him previously in the Wallabies set-up and I know the qualities and experience he will bring to the management team will pay significant dividends,” Johnson said.
“All three of these appointments are at the top in their fields and will give our teams the best chance for success across the Australian rugby landscape.”