All Blacks great Murray Mexted has warned Rugby Australia that they would “be crazy” to sack Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.
The rugby world has been shaken up mightily this week with two high profile coaches – England’s Eddie Jones and Wales’ Wayne Pivac – being moved on.
Former Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has replaced Pivac while England assistant Steve Borthwick is expected to come in for Jones.
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The England bombshell has triggered some calls in Australia to chase Jones – who has led two teams to World Cup finals – as an immediate Rennie replacement.
Mexted, who has rubbed shoulders with Jones and Rennie at his International Rugby Academy of New Zealand, says that would be a mistake.
“I’m surprised that Wales have sacked Pivac with one year to go,” Mexted told SENZ.
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“I think it’s a lot to do with a new coach but Gatland would be the only one that would be qualified to take that role because he’s so close to it and he just has an immediate path to head coach.
“But with Dave Rennie, I mean, they’d be crazy if they changed Dave Rennie – and it’s got to that stage with (All Blacks coach) Ian Foster now too.
“To destabilise the World Cup campaign half a dozen big matches out from the World Cup would be a bad move, and it would be a reckless move…
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“The most successful periods or tenures are those that are consistent over a period of about four years or more. If you look back in history and look back at the time that a head coach ran the show with success, they often had four, five, six years at the helm.”
Speaking before Jones’ axing, former Wallaby Morgan Turinui – who played under Jones – agreed that punting the wily 62-year-old would be a mistake.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to change any coach this close to a World Cup. If it’s about a World Cup bounce to be better at a World Cup, it probably doesn’t work for the World Cup,” Turinui said on Stan Sport’s’ Between Two Posts.
“If you don’t think you’ve got the right guy and might as well start the new regime that’s coming now, forgetting about the World Cup, then that’s a different question.
“If I’m England, I’m not getting rid of an experienced coach that’s got historical success at World Cups.”
Wallabies great Matt Giteau – also speaking before the Jones axing was confirmed – agreed on Twitter.
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