Rugby: Wallabies coach Dave Rennie may quit if Raelene Castle is sacked

  • 07/04/2020

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie could quit, if Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle is axed.

Castle is under extreme pressure to retain her job, with RA in a deep financial hole, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the Israel Folau lawsuit and no broadcasting deal set beyond 2020.

With Super Rugby on hold, RA is reportedly faced with a AU$120 million loss this year.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Rennie, whom Castle appointed late last year, is severely rattled by speculation over her future and would reassess his plans, if she is sacked. 

The former Chiefs coach isn't due to report for duty until the scheduled series with Ireland in July, although global border lockdowns are likely to see mid-year rugby internationals scrapped.

Rennie cited Castle's credentials as a key reason for his decision to accept the Australian job - the former Netball NZ head also had a successful stint at the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club.

"I had a lot of time to think about it," Rennie said in January. "I got an approach from Australia reasonably early on, so I did my homework. 

"Raelene flew to Jersey, we had a sit down for a few hours. She really impressed me - smart and tough, really keen for change and driven. 

"The fact I know [director of rugby Scott Johnson], I felt the leadership here was really strong... I felt they'd have my back. That was a big part of it."

Last week, Castle said RA's cost-cutting efforts, which saw her own salary halved and 75 percent of staff stood down until July 1, wouldn't impact Rennie immediately.