The first piece of Dave Rennie’s Wallabies puzzle has been put in place with Scott Wisemantel unveiled as Australia’s new attack coach on Thursday.
Wisemantel had been publicly named as one of Rugby Australia’s targets for an assistant role and that was finally made official with Rugby Australia’s announcement.
The Australian has been working under Eddie Jones as England’s attack coach but has long been earmarked for a homecoming.
Wisemantel returned to Australia after the Rugby World Cup, going back to working as a supply teacher in his local area but had kept his cards close to his chest about his coaching future.
He hasn’t coached in Australia since 2010 when he was the Waratahs backs coach but has worked in Japan, France and England.
The 49-year-old has remained in close contact with those in Australian rugby circles, though, and led an Australian XV against the French Barbarians in a mid-week tour match in 2016.
“I’m really looking forward to returning home to Australia after ten years and for the opportunity to work alongside Dave Rennie,” Wisemantel told Rugby Australia’s official website.
“I’ve learnt a few things from working with various programs around the world and it’s given me another perspective on how to view the game as an attack coach.
“Historically, the Wallabies have been innovative in how they play the game and how they attack so I want to bring that to the table.
“There’s a good group of players with some exciting talent coming through, which will create competition for spots amongst the current crop.
“I’m looking forward to get stuck into it and visiting the Super Rugby teams early in the New Year, seeing how I can learn off them and prepare for a really important 2020 season.”
Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor and Japan-based Nick Stiles have also been rumoured to be in contention for assistant roles with Rennie.
Welcome to the team!
Scott Wisemantel joins the Qantas #Wallabies as assistant to Dave Rennie on a four-year deal.
READ: https://t.co/wsSDMMYO01 #TeamRugby #GoldBlooded pic.twitter.com/wU87yYNweI
— Wallabies (@wallabies) December 12, 2019
Wisemantel’s was one of three additions to the Wallabies set-up announced on Thursday.
Chris Webb will come on board as Wallabies general manager, having most recently been national high performance advisor for the Sunwolves and Japan rugby.
Dean Benton, who was part of the Australian staff leading into the Rugby World Cup, has also taken up a permanent role as national head of athletic performance.
Benton was with England Rugby until he returned to Australia at the end of 2018.
Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson said the three announcements would prove pivotal for the Wallabies.
“These are all important appointments for what we want to achieve with our Wallabies program and broadly for the implementation of our national high performance plan over the next four years,” he said.
“Scott’s return to Australia is a huge coup for the Wallabies. He’s got great experience and has had success with club sides in Europe as well as with other International sides, but I also know what he’s like as a person and as a coach and he will add tremendous value to the group.
“Dave (Rennie) has been closely involved in the appointment of Scott and I know those two guys will complement each other really well.
“As far as Dean is concerned, he’s been with the team for the past year and has had a significant impact on the physical preparation and conditioning of the Wallabies squad.
“Dean has an almost unrivalled resume when it comes to athletic performance coaching and we are going to tap into his expertise in a much more significant way in a new role which will see Dean coordinate our approach to athletic performance nationally by working in with the staff at each of our national, Super Rugby and Academy teams.
“I have known Chris Webb for many years and have worked with him previously in the Wallabies setup and I know the qualities and experience he will bring to the management team will pay significant dividends.
“All three of these appointments are at the top in their fields and will give our teams the best chance for success across the Australian rugby landscape.”