'Bloody angry': Dave Rennie unloads after Bledisloe postponement

Fri, 20/08/2021, 06:06 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie spoke to reporters following New Zealand Rugby’s decision that the All Blacks would not to fly to Perth for the third Bledisloe Cup Test.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has unleashed after the decision was confirmed to postponed the third Bledisloe Test.

On Friday morning, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced the All Blacks would not travel to Perth this weekend, citing a lack of certainty surrounding their return to New Zealand.

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The announcement was the first Rennie and the Wallabies heard about the move, with RA CEO Andy Marinos lashing out in a statement.

Rennie blasted the lack of communication and apparent respect shown towards his side.

“Bloody angry,” Rennie said bluntly to reporters.

“I think it’s disappointing how it has been communicated. Our boys all found out through social media.

“I thought New Zealand Rugby didn’t even have the respect to consult RA about their decision so that’s hugely disappointing.”

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NZR CEO Mark Robinson said they were putting player welfare first given they were set to leave home until November, looking for a schedule confirmation before making their next steps.

However, Rennie dismissed this, given a large selection of NSW-based players and staff was looking at longer stints away from home as well as a quarantine stint.

He suggests the decision shows they are unwilling to make the same commitments to ensure the series goes ahead.

“We made a commitment to play a Test in Auckland on the 7th of August and while we had players away from home for six weeks already out of NSW, we honoured that commitment. They asked to play an extra game because we couldn’t go back to Wellington on the 28th and we honoured that as well," he argued.

“They made a commitment to come on the 21st which was pushed back to the 28th and now they are not coming.

“It’s disappointing for the Perth community but also disappointing for our players because we’re in limbo as well. What we know is that we’ll get clarity over the next couple of days around the Rugby Championship and where it’s going to be held. Whether that’s Brisbane, South Africa or Europe, the games are to take place on those dates, the 11th or the 12th are the first ones.

“New Zealand could’ve come here, played the game knowing we have a Rugby Championship game a week afterwards.

“…If they are playing the welfare card, well our New South Wales boys haven’t been home for eight weeks already with no clear end in site and likelihood they won’t get home until late November to then be in quarantine.”

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Rennie's tenure as coach has been filled with challenges off the field, forced to spend the build-up of his coaching debut in isolation last year.

He believes this shows their willingness to put the best interests of the game first, something he believes wasn't being reciprocated.

“I feel like there’s only one of us doing what’s in the best interest of the game,” he added.

“Last year, we want to NZ to ensure the games were played for the benefits of both countries. We quarantined in Wellington for two weeks. The expectation was we made a commitment to go there this year, they’d come here and they haven’t honoured.

“It tells you more about them than us I reckon."

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