New Wallabies coach Rennie to take 30 per cent pay cut amid coronavirus pandemic

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has agreed to take a 30 per cent pay cut as Rugby Australia makes cuts across the business in coronavirus pandemic.

While Rugby Australia has not officially confirmed Rennie's pay situation, it is understood the former Glasgow coach volunteered to take a cut until September 30, in line with the rest of the business's executive team.

The 56-year-old had so far been immune from pay cuts in Australian rugby, with his contract not officially beginning until July.

Rugby AU interim CEO Rob Clarke said on Tuesday that Rennie would not be among staff asked to take a five per cent pay cut in the announced restructure because his contract had not begun.

While in Australia, he had not been asked to take any kind of cut, Rennie and the rest of Scotland's head coaches have agreed to 25 per cent pay deferrals amid the SRU's own financial challenges.

Rennie's move comes in solidarity with the Australian rugby community, almost all of whom at a professional level have taken a cut to hours or pays in the past two months.

Australia's professional players have agreed to an average 60 per cent pay cut until the end of September, an amount that will be renegotiated if the slated Super Rugby AU competition gets the green light.

More than three-quarters of Rugby Australia's office and high performance staff have been stood down since April and 47 of its 142 full-time workers were made redundant in the first stage of a restructure announced this week.

Remaining senior staff will be asked to take that five per cent pay cut.

Rennie is currently making his way back to New Zealand, where he will quarantine for two weeks, before travelling to Australia to officially begin his Wallabies tenure next month.

The former Chiefs coach has taken an active role in 2020 planning since being appointed back in November 2019, working with assistants Scott Wisemantel and Matt Taylor to establish a Players of National Interest squad of roughly 35 players.

Rennie is set to have until October to prepare for his first official Wallabies Test, with Rugby Australia hoping for a four-Test Bledisloe series at the very least towards the end of 2020.

Clarke also said on Tuesday that he hoped Australia could host a Rugby Championship hub involving all four SANZAAR nations around that same time.