White backs Rennie ‘100 percent’ for RWC, says players aren’t reaching same standards as coaching staff



DUBLIN – Nic White has delivered a passionate defense of Dave Rennie, saying the Wallabies coach is the man to lead the nation through to next year’s World Cup.

What’s more, the feisty halfback, who will miss the final Test of the year despite passing a concussion test against Ireland, says the Wallabies aren’t up to the standards expected by the coaching structure.

The Wallabies’ frustrating year continued over the weekend as they suffered an agonizing 13-10 defeat in front of more than 50,000 fans at Lansdowne Road.

As well as being their ninth defeat of the year, Rennie lost another six troops to injury to once again test the depth of his squad ahead of their season finale against a rocked Welsh side, who have questions of their own to deal with following a startling 13-12 loss to Georgia which has plunged the proud rugby nation into further crisis.

While the Wallabies’ three-point loss to Andy Farrell’s world No.1 nation was a dog fight with both sides struggling in attack without key figures in the playmaking roles, next weekend’s clash at the Principality Stadium could be a do-or-die clash for Rennie and Wales’ Wayne Pivac.

But White said more of the onus needed to fall on the responsibility of the playing group, who are simply not executing the game-plan designed by the coaches.

“We’re not far away,” White said.

“Whilst it’s been a tough year around results, it’s not that we’ve been a million miles away and I feel like surely everyone can see that.

“I’ve said right from the start when I first came back in 2020 that I believe that the coaching staff are at a level and, as players, we’re not quite there yet. I still feel like we’re growing and not quite to the standard that they set.

“We’ve got a great game plan; at times we are not executing it.

“We know that we’ve got problems around discipline that we need to be a little bit better (at). We are getting a little bit better.

Nic White of Australia leaves the pitch for a leaves the pitch for a head injury assessment during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.  (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/SportsfilE via Getty Images)

Nic White of Australia leaves the pitch for a leaves the pitch for a head injury assessment. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/SportsfilE via Getty Images)

“There’s a whole lot of factors that are out of everyone’s control this year.

“I 100 per cent think Dave’s the man for the job. He’s doing a great job, we as a group absolutely love him.”

The comments came after captain James Slipper backed Rennie in the post-match press conference on Sunday.

“There’s so much trust in Dave,” Slipper said. “I don’t even want to go down that track at the moment to be honest. We’re the players out there in those big moments that we’re falling in, and we go into these games, we couldn’t be more prepared.”

The Wallabies, those who remained healthy at least, were afforded a rare day off on Sunday to go out and explore Dublin.

It’s believed they will have a night out together to let their hair down after a long, brutal year.

They will arrive in Cardiff on Monday and have a lighter training week, conscious that they have almost reached the finish line after a marathon season.

White, who was ruled out of the Wales Test after a matchday doctor ruled he should have been considered a criteria one HIA category, was itching to play and earlier said it was vital they finish the year on a positive note.

“At the moment we’ve got to fully focus on finishing this tour on a high,” he said.

“We’ve got an opportunity in Wales to go over there and get a job done. Get a result, get on the plane, and look back.

“We’ve learned some things the hard way. It’s not like we’ve come over here and been a million miles away. A few decisions go a different way and things could be a very different tour.

“We’ll come back over here next year feeling not a million miles away. Confident is probably not the right word. We haven’t got the right results for that. We certainly won’t be shy.”

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