Rennie set to 'roll sleeves up' in Wallabies role

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 Rennie told working in the different rugby environment in the north had been good for him.


"It's more defence-minded, they defend differently, there's a lot of line speed, there's a lot of contact in the game up here.


"From an attack perspective, you've got teams that are prepared to go 30-35 phases to score, where as maybe from a Super Rugby perspective, it's a bit more higher risk, higher speed, high skill and [you] probably see a few more turnovers, and so on," he said.


The value of patience and building pressure while also dealing with different defence systems had been good.


"We play in some challenging conditions which is what you're going to face when you come up this way at various times in the year. I think the quality of rugby up here would surprise a lot of people in the southern hemisphere," he said.


Rennie said he and Rugby Australia's director of rugby Scott Johnson were working through assembling a coaching support team.


"There's going to be a little bit of change there but in that group we need massive work ethic, we need innovation, we need people who are going to roll their sleeves up and so on.


"I want a group that will challenge each other, challenge me to get the best out of our players. So, getting the right people in place is paramount initially and obviously, the relationship stuff – Super Rugby teams are crucially important," he said.


The situation with the Australian set-up was similar to that when he started at the Chiefs in 2012.


"There was a heap of very experienced players who left and went off shore, that actually encouraged me to apply for the job because I felt it was going to be easier to change the culture with the chance to bring in some fresh blood and some good young kids.


"I see it similarly here, there's no doubt it's going to take a lot of work and I've got a lot of learning to do in terms of the quality of the players that are there and the shifts we'll need to make but I've got a really strong work ethic and I'll surround myself with people who are like-minded," he said.


In regards to selection of players from overseas said he was not 'overly keen' on the idea.


"It's a big question isn't it because the advantage of having guys playing Super Rugby means that we've got access to them, we've got influence and obviously picking players from overseas, maybe it works all right in a World Cup year but it's difficult to have influence.


"If I compared, say we're looking at a prop who's playing in France – we want him to be athletic, skilful because of the game we're going to play as well as scrum well – his French club doesn't care whether he can catch or pass, they just want him to scrummage.


"Maybe he's not conditioned well. You're going to get him back with a week to turn him around to play international footy which is difficult so it'll be the old case where maybe it's possible but [the] best case scenario is that we're going to try and develop guys within Australia and promote them and try and build experience that way," he said.


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