Wallabies may have pick of best of the rest from All Blacks coach race

However, Rennie is among a handful of prominent names invited by NZR to apply for the vacant All Blacks post and he said he was “humbled” by the approach.

Others certainly in the mix are incumbent All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster and highly successful Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, while Japan’s head coach Jamie Joseph is likely to put his name in the hat.

It means at least three high-quality head coaches will be left without an international post.

One of them could then have their head turned by Johnson.

Deans was famously unveiled as Wallabies coach on December 14, 2007, just seven days after losing out to Graham Henry in a high-profile All Blacks race.

Whoever crossed the Tasman could come as a team, bringing his nominated assistants for the New Zealand job with him.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is the pick of those who want a breath of fresh air at the All Blacks. Credit:AP

Conjecture surrounds the identity of each coach’s preferred assistants with one exception.

Highly rated attack coach Tony Brown has committed to keep working with Joseph, having turned down approaches from both Foster and Robertson.

Joseph is weighing up a lucrative offer to remain with Japan and Brown indicated the Wallabies probably weren’t on his radar, in an interview with Sky Sport NZ on Wednesday.

Brown also rated Foster and Robertson as the “leading contenders” to get the All Blacks back on track after their disappointing bronze medal return in Japan.


Hansen and star playmaker Beauden Barrett have both called for Foster’s promotion to the top job in the name of continuity.

However, other commentators believe it is time for a clear-out and the change of approach that the charismatic Robertson would bring.

A NZR appointment panel unveiled on Wednesday comprised chairman Brent Impey, incoming chief executive Mark Robinson, high performance boss Mike Anthony, former All Blacks coach Graham Henry and former Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu.

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