Waratahs announce Rob Penney as new head coach

Photo: Stu Walmsley

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The NSW Waratahs have finally revealed their new head coach, with kiwi Rob Penney putting pen to paper on a three-year deal that will take him up to the end of the 2022 Super Rugby season.

A former head coach of the New Zealand Under 20’s, Munster in Ireland, and Canterbury, Penney is currently in charge of Japanese Top Challenge League side Toyota Shokki Industries, and will arrive at the Tahs with a fair degree of success on his CV.

After leading Canterbury to four successive NPC (now Mitre 10 Cup) titles he took the Baby Blacks to a runners-up finish at the 2012 Junior World Championships. He then guided Munster to successive Heineken Cup semi-finals in 2013 and 2014, and was named Pro 14 Coach of the Year in 2014.

Moving to Japan in 2015 he secured a place in the play-offs for two out of his four seasons with NTT Communications, and led them to their highest-ever finish in the Top League, before moving to relegated Toyota Shokki Industries for the 2019 season.

“Rob is an extremely experienced coach who embodies the characteristics we [Performance Committee] identified for our ideal candidate,” said NSWRU CEO Andrew Hore.

“This position was one which drew a vast level of interest from across world rugby, Rob’s appointment is the result of an exhaustive recruitment process – speaking volumes for the calibre of coach we’ve been able to secure for the [NSW] Waratahs.
 
“With a strong history of player development across each of his previous roles, I have no doubt Rob will harness the wealth of talent coming through our pathways and build sustainable success for the [NSW] Waratahs in Super Rugby.
 
“Rob understands the connection between our NSW Rugby pathways and competitions and the [NSW] Waratahs, and is keen to embrace the strategic vision of our entire organisation. This is an exciting time for the [NSW] Waratahs and I’d like to welcome Rob on board.”

Speaking at the announcement in Tokyo, Penney spoke proudly of the opportunity he has been presented with.

“The Waratahs are an organisation revered throughout world rugby, with a proud history of performance and player development,” he said. “To be given the opportunity to help this playing group get the most out of both themselves as individuals and as a collective is an exciting one.
 
“I’m looking forward to contributing to the betterment of Australian rugby, ensuring we have a working environment at the [NSW] Waratahs to foster the young talent already assembled. To see players grow, develop and reach their own personal goals is a hugely satisfying part of coaching – one I’m personally looking forward to here in Australia. Ultimately, I want our players to represent the jersey with pride and ensure New South Wales continues to be a leader in Australian rugby.”

Watch the video below for more reaction to his appointment from Penney, and the positions he thinks need filling in the Waratahs roster for the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Video courtesy of NSWRU and RUGBY.com.au

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Career overview:

2003 – 2005: Assistant Coach (Forwards), Canterbury – National Provincial Championship
2005: Assistant Coach, Crusaders – Super 12
2006 – 2011: Head Coach, Canterbury – National Provincial Championship
2012: Head Coach, New Zealand U20s
2012 – 2014: Head Coach, Munster – Pro 14
2015 – 2018: Head Coach, NTT Communications – Top League
2019: Head Coach, Toyota Shokki Industries – Top Challenge League

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