New Wallabies coach outlines recipe for success

Former Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui has endorsed Dan McKellar’s credentials as a future Test coach after the Brumbies boss was picked to run Dave Rennie’s forward pack this season.

McKellar replaces former England lock Geoff Parling in the role and will continue his duties with the Brumbies next year.

The former Queensland prop guided the Brumbies to the Super Rugby AU title last year and the Canberra club was beaten in the final by the Reds this year.

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“He’s impressed me in the last few years and anyone who can balance the head coach role, which includes retention and recruitment but also be an excellent hands on coach in his sector, they’re really different skillsets and there’s rare people that can do both at the same time,” Turinui said after McKellar’s appearance on the latest edition of Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven.

“He’s now going to be more of an assistant, focused on the rugby and he’ll also be able to go back to the Brumbies which is really advantageous to become the Wallaby coach.

“We very much could have just been talking to a future Wallaby coach.”

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McKellar was offered the same role by Rennie last year but eventually decided to focus solely on his Brumbies commitments.

“It was tough last year to have to knock back the opportunity to work with the Wallabies,” McKellar said on Rugby Heaven.

“To be given a second chance, I suppose, is something I’m really excited about.”

McKellar rounds out a Wallabies coaching team that also includes Scott Wisemantel (attack), Matt Taylor (defence) and Petrus du Plessis (scrum).

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“Lineout and maul is an area where I think I can help make a difference,” McKellar said.

“The detail around how we attack and defend as a forward pack on the fringes, I think I’ve got a bit to offer there… I think if you’ve got a strong maul it allows us to create opportunities and have variation around our attack.”

McKellar added that physicality and intent would be non-negotiables under his watch.

“Repeat efforts are a huge thing and I know that’s a big part of Dave’s game, your work off the ball, the stuff that people don’t see is incredibly important and then making sure that you’ve got the skillset to play the game that we want to play as well.

“The reality is that forwards touch the ball a lot more now than they ever have, with how we’ll attack with our frontline attack, providing opportunities for your second line.

“So you need to have that skillset as well. But first and foremost it starts with the bread and butter and that’s being prepared to physically challenge the opposition consistently around the collision area.”

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