Embattled Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is “phenomenal” and has the absolute backing of his players who have pledged to perform against world No.1 Ireland and do their bit to relieve the pressure on him.
Rennie is in the gun less than 12 months out from next year’s World Cup after a shock one-point loss to Italy last week, Australia’s first loss to the Azzurri in 39 years.
It came after a narrow loss to France the week before, one of the Wallabies’ best recent performances, and a narrow win over Scotland to open the European Tour, with all three games decided by a single point.
Rennie was panned for resting the majority of his starting side against Italy and the pressure is on the coach and the players to turn things around against the Irish and then Wales.
Star halfback Nic White, who is set to return to the starting line-up against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday morning, said the team had spoken about playing for their coach and to help push his case for what looms as an unlikely contract extension beyond the World Cup.
“We need to step it up as a group and this week’s a chance for us to show how much we care for Dave and the coaching staff,” he told reporters.
“We’re speaking about putting out a performance for him.
“We do absolutely love being coached by Dave, he’s a phenomenal coach … the coaching staff here is world class and we as a playing group aren’t there yet.
“A lot of the pressure that’s come on him and the coaching staff is to do with what we’ve put out on the field and a whole lot of moments that we could have controlled as players.”
The Wallabies should be back to full strength for the Ireland clash and after being “proper gutted” following the loss to Italy, White said the players needed to use that feeling as motivation.
“We need to lean on it for sure – it’s about channelling it – we spoke about that,” he said.
“Boys were proper gutted after the game … we don‘t want that to hamper our performance, we need to channel it the right away.
“It’s about immersing yourself in the role for each position, getting the role clarity right.
“We’re coming up against very good side and we’re going to have to put out a good performance because anything short of that isn’t going to be good enough.
“We just spoke about trusting the system a little bit more and knowing if we stay in the fight long enough it will get there.”
Story Credit: news.com.au