Australians to assist new Wallabies coach

Darren Walton
Scott Wisemantel (right) looms as a potential Wallabies coach or assistant coach of the future

Kiwi Dave Rennie will be surrounded by Australian assistants as Rugby Australia grooms home-grown candidates for the next Wallabies head coaching job.

RA chief Raelene Castle and director of rugby Scott Johnson are making an Australian coach the next priority after conceding no locals were credentialled enough to take over from Michael Cheika.

"We'd like to get an Australian flavour there," Johnson said when asked who would assist Rennie when he officially takes charge next July.

"It's important that we get that. We have an obligation to get some young coaches through our system but we've got a lot of good young coaches coming through.

"They're just not at the point that we need them at the pointy end now but the next cycle we need to have genuine contenders for this position coming through our system."

Former NSW Waratahs assistant Scott Wisemantel, now England's attack coach under Eddie Jones, and Scotland assistant Matt Taylor, are both in Johnson's sights.

But RA is refusing to put a time frame on when they will make any announcements and said Rennie - who counted former All Blacks attack coach Wayne Smith among his assistants during his two Super Rugby title-winning seasons at the Chiefs in 2012-13 - would be consulted.

"There'll be a couple of sleepless nights and a lot of phone calls over the next couple of weeks," Johnson said.

"We've got the man at the top, it's (about) putting people around him that fits his skill set and also his personality so it complements.

"That's a perfect coaching team, where you get different personalities that can add to the environment. We're looking at that.

"I've been around the game a bit so I know the people that are out there. If we can bring people back, that's good too because that adds experience to our coaching team and we'll be doing everything in our power to make sure we get what we think is a quality coaching team.

"Our country deserves it, our team deserves it and we want it."

But it is clear Johnson and Castle will have the final say on Rennie's support staff, with Castle accepting it was fair enough for Wallabies fans to want Australian coaches.

"And we looked really hard at the Australian options and there wasn't one at this level that we believed was available to come into this role," she said.

"It's something we've identified that we need to spend more time focused on, to go and develop our young coaches coming through and that's what we'll be doing.

"It's one of Johnno's major mandates over the next four years to make sure we've got those options in place."