How McKellar convinced Lolesio to sign, the ‘sad’ reality of Banks’ defection and why Rennie might stay on until 2027




ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has said Dave Rennie could keep the Wallabies coaching job until the end of the 2027 World Cup, playing down speculation he was in line to take on the role after next year’s tournament.

McKellar told ABC Melbourne TV on Wednesday that he was not interested in engaging in conversations about the role of head coach. In recent weeks Queensland Reds manager Brad Thorn has said he wants to coach the Wallabies in the future – a statement which has raised the question of Rennie’s succession.

McKellar, considered by many to be next on the list, said: “I don’t know why people are talking about replacing Dave.

“He has been in office for two years, he is an exceptional coach, a great man. If he wants to stay for a Lions series [in 2025] and a home World Cup in 2027, so I think that choice would be his.

“I’m just really proud and I’m really grateful to be able to work with guys like Dave and coach at the Wallaby level and my job there right now is as an assistant coach and I’m enjoying it when I come back to this environment and that I end here with special memories here at the Brumbies.

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McKellar will leave the Super Rugby club at the end of the season to work as Rennie’s full-time assistant.

” I am not in a hurry. All I want to do is support Dave as an assistant coach and get out of here and make sure I leave a legacy and hopefully some success that others can build on to the future.

Part of McKellar’s legacy to 2023 manager Stephen Larkham is his role in helping convince Wallabies youngster Noah Lolesio to stay and reject an offer to go to Japan. McKellar, however, admitted he was sad to see Tom Banks decide to leave after this season.

“We had a number of conversations,” McKellar said of Lolesio, who said the opportunity to work with World Cup-winning No.10 Larkham helped him make his decision.

“Obviously I’ve been heavily involved in Noah’s career so far. He’s a young guy, he’s 23. I’ve had conversations with a lot of players over the years who have had those opportunities and offers put in front of them and the money you’re talking about is definitely something you need to watch and sit up and take notice.

(Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

“Noah was no different. He’s a competitive footballer who wants to be the best player he can be and I know he wants to play for Australia and continue to represent the Brumbies.

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“To do that he has to stay on the Aussie loot and luckily he has made a decision which is the best for his footballing career knowing he has 15 years ahead of him at this level and the chance to play at the stranger will always be there for him on the trail.”

On the other hand, McKellar said he understood why Banks, 28 next month, wanted to accept an offer in Japan.

“The money offered is life-changing,” McKellar said of Banks’ two-year, $1.4 million deal.

“These boys have a short career, most players will play for five years, very few will have the opportunity for 10 years.

“For Tom, he’s at a stage where he’s considering his career and he has a chance to prepare himself and his family for life.

“You have to respect and understand that. It’s just sad to think he’ll be in Japan next year and maybe he won’t represent Australia at a World Cup.




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