Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie is now a target of his native New Zealand, he confirmed yesterday.
Last week Rennie was proclaimed an overwhelming favourite to replace Michael Cheika as head coach of the Australian national team, and expressed his interest in the job, although he stressed he would see out the final year of his contract with the Warriors.
But yesterday the 55-year-old confirmed the reports in Australia earlier this week that he’d been approached by the New Zealand Rugby Union as a potential successor to Steve Hansen, who steps down as coach of the All Blacks after the bronze medal match against Wales at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“Obviously it’s flattering, it’s humbling,” he told STV. “They’ve always been such a great side.
“They’ve probably made contact with a number of Kiwis who are coaching over this way about interest for the role. I believe they will have a process where they interview then make an appointment in the New Year.
“I haven’t had a lot of time to dwell on that because I’m totally focused on what I’m doing here.”
Rennie seemed a certainty to take over the Wallabies with the Australian media last week even indicating he’d select a team of assistants including the Australian-born current Scotland defence coach, Matt Taylor.
But while he’d confirmed an interest in coaching at international level as long ago as last year, Rennie underlined last week that he wanted to see out the rest of his year-long contract extension with Glasgow, which finishes in May.
While the Wallabies job is likely to be a straight appointment by Rugby Australia, the interview for the All Blacks post is much more of a selective and detailed process, and there will be a number of rival contenders including Hansen’s senior assistant, All Blacks attack coach Ian Foster.
Scott Robertson, who took the Crusaders to the Super Rugby title this year, is another possible contender although New Zealand have recently tended to prefer their head coaches to have some experience of working in the Northern Hemisphere or outwith New Zealand.
Japan’s head coach Jamie Joseph, a former All Black, is also likely to be in the frame.