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Wallabies coach Rennie weighs in on trans-Tasman competition debate

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7th August, 2020
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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is all in for a proposed trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.

Rugby Australia is set to rebuff a proposal by its New Zealand counterpart for an eight-team competition featuring just two Australian teams.

But Rennie is confident a solution will be brokered between the two nations and he’s eager for as much Australian involvement as possible.

“It certainly won’t be two,” Rennie said.

“The trans-Tasman competition is important, and important for both countries.

“There’s talk about potentially four sides from here or maybe five sides from here and the thing I like about having five teams from an Aussie perspective is it’s a great opportunity for our young kids to get involved in professional footy and get that experience.

“The less teams we have, the less opportunities for those guys.

“You could argue when Australia were really successful they only had three sides and you end up with three really strong teams but I think if we’re looking long term … we need to provide opportunities for guys to stay here and play professional rugby.”

New Zealander Rennie has completed his move to the Gold Coast where he will live during his time at the helm of the Wallabies.

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It has been a timely shift with the Western Force relocating to southeast Queensland ahead of Super Rugby AU matches against the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds at CBUS Super Stadium.

Rennie will attend both matches before picking his squad for this year’s Bledisloe Cup Tests, which are scheduled for October.

Those matches against the All Blacks will be Rennie’s first since his appointment in November last year with the COVID-19 pandemic playing havoc with the 2020 international rugby schedule.

“There’s been a lot of plans and every week a plan goes in the bin.” the New Zealander said.

“We’ve done a million Zoom calls, trying to stay connected. We’ve had chances for Wisey and Tatsey (Scott Wisemantel and Matt Taylor) to get around the Super Rugby clubs but of course that’s stopped now as well.

“It’s just great that the boys are back playing rugby. We’re trying to work in with the Super Rugby coaches, chip in and help out and then hopefully we get some international footy come October.”

Rennie also confirmed he is doing all he can to bring South African scrum guru Petrus du Plessis on his staff but nothing had been finalised.

“If we can get it across the line, there’s more than just the Wallabies, it’s getting around the country working with all national sides and so on but he’d be a great get if we can get it over the line.”

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