Hot on the heels of the Vern Cotter/Gregor Townsend reshuffle, Scottish Rugby has appointed NZ Super Rugby side the Chiefs coach Dave Rennie as the new Head Coach of Glasgow Warriors for the 2017/18 season on a 2 year deal.
Rennie joined the Chiefs in 2012 and won two Super Rugby titles in his first two seasons, the first coach to win a Super Rugby title in his debut season since 2000.
He began his coaching career in 1999 at Wellington, where the team won their first NPC title in 14 years in his first season as head coach in 2000. He also coached Manawatu between 2006-2011 – where his assistant was current Scotland attack coach Jason O’Halloran, who then succeeded him in the role. Concurrent to that, Rennie coached the New Zealand U20 side that won three consecutive Junior World Championships between 2008-2010.
Some further south (of the equator) might see this as a step down for Rennie but it is a chance for him to cement his Northern Hemisphere credentials and perhaps raise his CV into the same bracket as the other Kiwi coaches seen to be contenders for the All Blacks role when it next becomes vacant.
Dave Rennie said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the Head Coach role at Glasgow Warriors. The opportunity to work with such an exciting group of players at a club that has such big ambitions and a great winning culture was one I couldn’t turn down. It’s no secret I have been interested in coaching abroad and this chance with Scottish Rugby fitted the bill perfectly.
“As a coach you want to test yourself in new environments with new challenges. The work Gregor and his team have done at the Warriors speaks for itself and I am very motivated to continue that success and build the club.”
He’ll have a job to do to maintain that culture but his Chiefs side made the playoffs every year he coached them which fits with Glasgow’s similar knockout run. This article suggests that Girvan Dempsey found plenty of positives when he spent some time in camp with the Chiefs.
He certainly has the rugby credentials and once again it looks like a pretty good bit of business by Dodson. The announcement wasn’t expected immediately but maybe the excitement became a bit too much. Certainly Glasgow fans will have a right to be feeling positive about the appointment.
The only issue now is, can he fill out his backroom staff with a few token Scots?