While Stiles’s resume indicates he would be an obvious fit for that role, multiple sources have told the Herald Rennie could be keen to bring in his own man.
That would not preclude Stiles from returning to Australia from Japan, where he is coaching Quade Cooper and Will Genia at the Kintetsu Liners. Australian officials are keen to bring him back in some capacity.
Cheika’s assistant coaches Nathan Grey, Shaun Berne and Simon Raiwalui are all expected to stay within the national programs but move on from the Wallabies. Backs coach Berne, who was on loan from Melbourne after Stephen Larkham’s departure, has already returned to the Rebels.
Australia’s Junior Wallabies program is enjoying greater attention after the success of the side at the U20 World Championship this year, potentially leaving the door open for one of either Grey or Raiwalui to further their development there.
The shift changeover at the top of the Wallabies will not stop there. It is expected team manager Pat Molihan will move on, with Webb potentially tipped to take over, albeit in an expanded role.
Webb is a vastly experienced and well-regarded high performance specialist, most recently managing the high performance program for the Japan national team in the lead-up to and during the World Cup. He worked closely with Brave Blossoms coaches Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown as team manager for the Sunwolves, and is also the head of high performance for Equestrian Australia. Prior to that he was the Waratahs’ team manager and worked in the Australian set-up in the John Connolly era.
Rennie, who was announced last week as the Cheika’s successor on a four-year deal, is still in Glasgow with the Warriors in Pro14 and will not formally link up with the Wallabies until July, on the eve of the Ireland series and Tests against Fiji.