Rugby: Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui backs Kiwi Dave Rennie for success as international coach despite Wallabies sacking

Even after being sacked as the head coach of the Wallabies, Kiwi Dave Rennie still has a huge future in test rugby, says pundit Morgan Turinui.

On Monday, Rennie was given his marching orders by his Rugby Australia bosses, after overseeing a tumultuous period in Wallabies history.

Instead, sacked England coach Eddie Jones will take charge, appointed on a five-year deal to take Australia to the 2023 World Cup and beyond.

Dave Rennie with the Wallabies.
Dave Rennie with the Wallabies. Photo credit: Getty Images

In 34 tests as head coach, Rennie won only 13, along with three draws and 18 losses. All up, his win percentage of 38.24 ranks him as the least successful Wallabies coach to preside over more than 30 tests.

That record pales in comparison to Rennie's achievements below test level, most notably Super Rugby, where he succeeded Ian Foster at the Chiefs in 2012, led the side to their maiden title in his first year and defended it the following season.

Only Scott Robertson (six) and Robbie Deans (five) have won more Super Rugby titles than Rennie.

Newshub understands Rennie's immediate future lies in Japan, where he'll link with Kobe Steelers in Rugby League One for 2024.

But Turinui insists Rennie's future shouldn't be consigned to the club game, with test rugby still a peak he can conquer in his career.

"I almost see Dave Rennie as being like the 2005 Eddie Jones, a fine coach," Turinui told Newshub. "He's going to be a great international coach.

Dave Rennie and Aaron Cruden with the Chiefs (2013).
Dave Rennie and Aaron Cruden with the Chiefs (2013). Photo credit: Photosport

"This was his first international job, he'll learn a lot from that. It was unfair for Dave, but that's coaching - it's unfair.

"He won't get that opportunity to take the Wallabies to the World Cup, but Eddie comes in 17 years later as the finished product, at the peak of his powers with incomparable experience, to the job that he probably always coveted since he walked out the door, with the opportunity to have the final say himself.

"Lots of us think about the human and the great rugby coach that is Dave Rennie, but for Australian rugby, it's an exciting day. No matter what, it's going to be entertaining.

"He's a fine football coach, he's going to get better and better. This was his first international posting, with no international experience.

"Test level is different, as everyone knows. I think he's going to be a fine coach and he could go on."

Turinui also rejects the idea of Rennie being defined by his Wallabies record, similar to Sir Steve Hansen being remembered as one of the All Blacks' greatest coaches, rather than his struggles with Wales.

"If you look at the records of Australian coaches, it's been a gradual steady decline in winning percentages through the last 20 years," continued Turinui.

"It's not always about the coach - it's about pathways and programmes and how players feed into that national team.

"Comparing Hansen's record with Wales with that of New Zealand doesn't mean much and comparing Eddie's 73 percent win ratio with England to what he'll do with the Wallabies will be hard to do as well.

"Dave has a huge future as an international coach. He could do anything."