Former Wallabies manager Dave Rennie joins Kobe in Japan’s Premier League, Andy Marinos linked with Welsh top job
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Four months after being sacked by Rugby Australia, Dave Rennie’s next move has been made official.
When he left, Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos was reportedly linked with the vacant managerial job in Wales.
More than four months later the roar announced that Rennie would join Kobe, the former Wallabies manager’s move to Japan’s Ligue 1 competition was confirmed on Friday.
“I am delighted to announce that I will be joining Kobe Steelers as Director of Rugby for next season,” Rennie said in a statement.
“I have always wanted to coach in Japan, having coached in New Zealand, Europe and internationally with the Wallabies.
“Kobe is a great place to live and a great club, with whom I have had a strong relationship since my time at the Chiefs and I am delighted to reconnect with them.
“Although they had a difficult year in 2023, we are ambitious and have good people who are ready to work hard.
“While Steph (Rennie’s wife) and I will be spending the majority of the next three months travelling, I have already started thinking about the 2024 season and beyond with Kobe and the exciting challenge ahead of us.”
Rennie, the two-time Super Rugby winning coach with the Chiefs, was abruptly sacked on January 15 as Rugby Australia pounced on a free and much-requested Eddie Jones.
But even before he was released, Rennie had been busy planning, knowing that a change in the wind had put his future as Wallabies manager in doubt.
Rennie had pushed for a contract extension with the Wallabies in mid-2022, a heartbreaking 2-1 series defeat but a record loss to end their two-week tour of Argentina and a deflating loss in Sydney against the Springboks have changed the sentiment around Rennie. coming.
While the Wallabies showed what they were capable of under Rennie against Ireland and France in the season-ending Spring Tour, a historic first loss to Italy left the New Zealander standing on a fragile ground during the holiday season.
Wanting a World Cup-proven coach to ensure the Wallabies make a splash in Australia, RA chairman Hamish McLennan tore up current plans and focused straight on Jones’ immediate arrival.
Six weeks after being sacked by the Rugby Football Union, Jones agreed terms with RA and less than 48 hours later Rennie was sacked.
His opinion divided and axed given his rapport with the player group and his dry and humble nature after a toxic state Rugby Australia found itself in before the onset of COVID-19 saw the governing body compelled to look in the mirror.
In the end, RA acted on Rennie’s winning percentage, which was an unflattering 38%.
Rennie will be joined in Kobe by Chiefs star Brodie Retallick.
Their arrivals extend a long history of New Zealand involvement at Kobe, with head coach Wayne Smith and All Blacks great Dan Carter spending time at the club.
Meanwhile, Marinos, the former Wales international who quit under pressure on May 1, has reportedly been shortlisted for the vacant Welsh Rugby Union chief executive.
Marinos was shortlisted alongside Dragons boss David Buttress, head of football Steve Dalton OBE and Nigel Walker, the former Test winger who has held the job since Steve Phillips quit five months ago in the middle of the allegations of misogyny and sexism within the governing body, according to Wales online.
Financially cautious and highly experienced in sports administration, Marinos helped RA post an $8.2 million surplus in 2022, just two years after posting a $27.1 million deficit.
While Marinos had told The Roar he would continue to live in South Sydney, it is understood his first true love for rugby is Wales.