Wallabies coach Dave Rennie pleased with his playing stocks ahead of next year's World Cup

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s time for experimentation is seemingly over, as he focuses on a “settled” national squad ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Rennie hasn’t been afraid to blood a host of players at international level, as well as bring back several experienced stars to the Wallabies fold, since replacing Michael Cheika as Australia’s coach in November 2019.

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It has led to mixed results, with the Wallabies having won just eight of their 20 Tests under Rennie.

Almost three-quarters of those matches were played last year, which ended on the disappointing note of three successive losses to Scotland, England and Wales on the tour of the UK.

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“We learnt a lot last year,” Rennie said.

“We had a tough international season and we’ve got another one (in 2022), which is awesome.”

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Despite the Wallabies having won less than half of their matches since Rennie’s appointment, the New Zealand-born coach is happy with the players he has used.

“I’d expect us to have a more settled look around the squad because we’ve got a lot of knowledge and we’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys we’re using,” he said.

“What we’ve been doing over the last couple of years is picking some young men who hopefully by the time they go to a World Cup have got 40 Test caps under them, or maybe more.”

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie pleased with his playing stocks ahead of next year’s World Cup

Camera IconVeteran prop James Slipper has signed a new deal with Rugby Australia. Stuart Walmsley / Rugby Australia Credit: Supplied

Not that Rennie has completely shut the door on potential World Cup bolters.

“The door’s always open. If someone emerges from left field, they’ll be rewarded,” he said.

“We’re certainly not going to close the door on anyone jumping out of the pack.”

And that should serve as a warning to any current Wallabies who get complacent this year.

“You’ve got to earn the right to play as well,” Rennie said.

“Just because you’ve been around a long time doesn’t guarantee you being part of a World Cup.”

That includes 32-year-old Brumbies prop James Slipper, the 114-Test prop who on Tuesday signed a new deal with Rugby Australia.

“We’ve also had quite a few young players come in and that gives me a bit of air, and pushes me along to make sure I stay in the team and enjoy those moments,” said Slipper, who said next year’s World Cup in France would be his likely swan song – if selected.

“I’ll never say never, but it’s more than likely going to be the last time I play – but you never know what happens in the future.”

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