World News – UA – Team Rennie has the chance to end the Wallabies identity crisis


So here is David Rennie of Lower Hutt, proud son of Wellington and the Cook Islands, square jaw jutting out under a dome as perfectly shaped as Mount Egmont / Taranaki

« The bottom line is this is about honoring our indigenous peoples, » said Rennie, speaking of the jersey the Wallabies will wear at Homebush on Saturday night

« What we are trying to emphasize is that First Nations are part of our DNA, » he continued The focus of Flight of the Conchords identified him as one of them. , but his words were those of one of us

Having only been one of the « us » since Raelene Castle fell under the leadership of their fellow Kiwisâ ???? guard and signed him up as the Wallabies coach, Rennie had the contractual right to speak as such a recent enthusiast Aussie All power for him Explaining why his team decided not to take a knee, Rennie continued with the determination to a man who will keep pushing that square peg in that round hole for as many years as it takes By the time he’s done, he’ll be an Australian in every sense of the word, if he’s grizzled and gray-haired

It was a curious moment A New Zealander explains ‘our’ DNA through the indigenous symbols worn by a team without indigenous players (Of 933 Wallabies to date, 14 were indigenous men and three of them were from from the same family) Among Rennie’s group, a majority have, like him, Pacific island roots In the background, there was a feud over whether the team should show solidarity with an international rights movement civic Leaving aside the debate over whether or not Australian rugby has a racing problem; surely what the Wallabies have is an identity problem

When Rennie first sat down with his team, as a coach who built his reputation on forging ‘culture’, the standard approach was to ask them to finish this sentence: ‘The Wallabies are…? This weekend, with the scene to themselves, they can begin to answer the question that many of us have lost sight of What do the Wallabies represent today?

Dave Rennie’s Wallabies team can start showing what they stand for in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash at ANZ StadiumCredit: Getty

We once knew Identity in sports teams does not derive from corporate branding or virtue signaling exercises, but from the personalities of the players and their style of play. of greatness from Australia, the Wallabies have been fortunate enough to derive their distinctive identity from both individuals and team style In the 1980s to early 1990s their signature was offensive play with the ball in hand, nurtured by Bob Dwyer and performed by the Ella brothers, David Campese and other representatives of foot rugby. Their opponents served as an old-fashioned stodge, and Australia (along with France) was the code-busting machines

The teams under John Eales and George Gregan benefited from the offensive genius of Stephen Larkham, but were more characterized by their heroic defense These Wallabies often won big matches defending their line phase after phase in the dying stadiums Their Resolved tackle won them a World Cup in 1999 and they defended their way to a final in 2003 How many times do we remember shouting for these Eales-Gregan teams to attack each other, attack each other, attack each other! The symbolic moment of this era is still Gregan’s tackle on Jeff Wilson in 1994

In the years that followed, as their winning record collapsed, a recognizable Wallabies signature also vanished. What was the Australian style? It became as confusing as why they weren’t winning anymore Their key personalities were cool guys and hard workers who took a loss well What Michael Hooper conjures up: A tough nugget tackling a dead end before speaking a speech worthy of defeat? It is of course easier for rugby teams to forge an identity when they win, and you can see it among the best in the world England’s playing identity is hyper-aggression led by Kyle Sinckler, a gifted central mast to Maro Itoje, and quick and skillful exterior rears

Multiculturally, they resemble today’s England. World champion South Africa can field two of rugby’s best striker packs, and their raw physique maintains a deep national rugby tradition that transcends color New Zealanders are entertaining, charismatic and super (sometimes too) confident, dazzling on the counterattack, the only test team that can do four tries in 10 minutes When you watch New Zealand play in Australia you know what the All Blacks stand for, and too often the Wallabies have been Washington generals for their Harlem Globetrotters – ???? not so much because Australia lost, but because Australia was bland

‘It has been a long time since viewers can confidently (and swear) end the opening sentence – The Wallabies are

Starting from Sydney, win or lose, the new generation of Wallabies have the golden opportunity to score their own signing Michael Cheika tried with a shot in his hand â ???? Australianâ ???? style, but for some complex reasons it didn’t work Under Rennie they start over

The years of overinvestment in Israel Folau, and the trauma of his departure, still unfold The Folau split was a clash between two versions of identity: one representing corporate loyalty and sponsor friendliness, the other representing a particular idea of ​​religion Neither of those competing identities had anything to do with how the Wallabies might play rugby, and both pushed away the majority of the public The Wallabiesâ ???? reputation is still recovering

Needless to say, the next two Bledisloe Cup games are heavily dependent on Wellington and Auckland’s emotional roller coaster feverish fans reveal desperation Provincial rugby’s financial collapse means top-down strategy is Rugby Australia’s last hope They need the Wallabies to do well, and good things to come out of it, otherwise they’re cooked

Leaving aside the question of victory… which would be practical! – the community thirsts for a Wallabies style they can identify, and personalities who make an indelible mark This imprint could come from the speed and agility of Jordan Petaia, Marika Koroibete and Filipo Daugunu on the edges; possibly Noah Lolesio’s highly anticipated debut as a five-eighth Perhaps new signing player will be Harry Wilson as reincarnation of Mark Loane It might be the power of people’s favorite Taniela Tupou

« Culture », the word most used in sports, is said to be Rennie’s strong suit He started by getting players to like their teammates personal stories Their task is to translate this into an expression of style on the pitch The biggest task will be to project it to the public, so that when they focus on a Wallabies game, they see « us », « us » and â ???? oursâ ???? For too long, the Wallabies have been ‘themâ ???? Succeed and no one will see or hear the superficial differences, only the gold of the jersey

Do they want to make a statement? It has been a long time since spectators can confidently (and without profanity) finish the opening sentence – The Wallabies are…

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Dave Rennie, Australian National Rugby Union Team, New Zealand National Rugby Union Team

Global News – UA – Team Rennie has the chance to end to the Wallabies identity crisis



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